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Shenzhen's oldest antique market faces closure
Latest Updated by 2005-12-14 15:25:17
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The oldest antique market in Shenzhen will be closed by the end of this month, due to what the market’s owner has claimed is its "poor environment," tenants said yesterday.


The management of the 16-year-old Jutian market, at the Shenzhen Workers' Palace, has told the market’s 38 tenants that it would not renew leases with them for 2006. "In line with the city government's demand for a better environment, the (Jutian) market will stop operation as of Jan. 1," said a notice issued to tenants.


Established in 1989, Jutian market was the first antique market to obtain a business license in Shenzhen. Originally a stamp shop, the market now houses 38 small shops, selling different kinds of antiques and attracting collectors from all over China. It is said to have the most complete collection of old documents, certificates, posters and books in Shenzhen.


“The market has become a famous place among collectors. How could it be closed overnight" said Ma Cunhong, an antique dealer. Liao Derong, a vase dealer, argued that the market posed no safety hazard as it occupied just one floor and had plenty of doors.


Ma and other tenants are trying to lobby the authorities to keep the market running. Collectors are also being mobilized. Since Dec. 3, about 500 collectors have signed a petition supporting the tenants’ plea to keep the market operational.


Huang Feng, an old card dealer, was busy packing up his goods yesterday morning. “In case I’ll have to leave the market,” said Huang, whose goods include one of China’s first share certificates since 1949. However, few tenants are ready to move, hoping the market will be kept running with the intervention of higher authorities.


Liu Yilong, 69, has been selling old books and documents at the market for seven years. His goods include rice ration bills used in the planned economy era and title deeds from the 1950s. Liu was worried that he would not have enough space to display his wares if he moved to another market.


“It was not easy for the market to win the fame as the biggest paper antique market in Shenzhen,” said Xue Yuiyun, general manager of the market.


Tenants said if they could keep the market, they would agree to pay higher rents.


There were rumors that the market’s location would house an entertainment park. Long Xiaoyan, director of the Workers’ Palace, could not be reached for comment yesterday. Long had said in an earlier interview that the market would be rebuilt at the new location of the Workers’ Palace, near the Lotus Hill in Futian.


Editor: Yan

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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