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3rd investigation launched for cultural heritage
Latest Updated by 2006-03-22 11:22:24
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China has launched a new round of investigations to ascertain the number of sites of historical interest and to put them under better protection.

The first phase of inv estigations began in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in North China recently and the nationwide investigation is scheduled to be completed in 2009.

Hou Shizhu, head of China's Third Cultural Heritage Investigation Team, said, "The investigation is an important step towards securing the country's cultural safety."

Chinese archaeologists will use modern technologies such as GPS,aerial photography, remote sensing, digital cameras and computers to survey unmovable sites of historical interest across the country, especially those scattered in the wild.

Data collected from the investigation will be used as the basis for the State Council to establish a national cultural heritage protection system by 2010.

China carried out two cultural heritage investigations in the 1950s and 1980s respectively. However, robbery of ancient tombs and historical sites and smuggling of relics have been frequently reported over the past 20 years, seriously damaging cultural relics across the country.

According to the results of the second investigation, China has more than 400,000 unmovable historical sites, one third of which are now missing, and many of the cultural relics were smuggled to overseas, Hou said.

"To establish a new line of defense for China's cultural relics has become imperative," Hou said.

Different from the previous investigations which just focus on the number of historical sites, the current move will also feature scientific research and excavations, which are likely to be made with the approval of relevant state departments.

Archaeologists hope that more volunteers will join in the investigation work and will provide more clues to sites of historical relics.

China passed a National Law on the Protection of Cultural Relics in 1982, establishing a system of conserving its cultural heritage. The core content of the law is the protection of cultural relics.

The government issued a notice calling on enhanced protection of cultural heritage across the country at the end of last year. The second Saturday of June has been designated as "China's Cultural Heritage Day" starting from this year.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: China View website
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