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Zhongnanhai stays closed for protection
Latest Updated by 2006-08-21 09:21:25
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File Photo: Zhongnanhai

A senior expert on historic sites has ruled out reopening Zhongnanhai, the official compound of China's central leadership, to the public for the reasons of preservation and security.

Xu Pingfang, president of the China Archaeological Society, said Zhongnanhai was under state protection because of its historic, artistic and cultural value.

Some modern buildings were built within its walls as offices and residences after the New China was founded in 1949 during a period when insufficient attention was paid to relics protection, said Xu.

As one of the nation's "key cultural relics sites", Zhongnanhai was partially opened to the public for a while in the 1980s.

The government collected suggestions from experts on its protection soon after moving in. Administrations had attached great importance to its protection, said cultural relics expert Luo Zhewen.

"The cultural relics in Zhongnanhai are mostly intact, although some were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)," said Luo, 83.

Luo said he had been invited to visit the site many times and assisted in the protection of the site.

The site was created during the Liao Dynasty (915-1125), then rebuilt and renovated repeatedly during the Yuan (1279-1368), Ming(1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.

Located to the west of the Forbidden City, the former royal garden has been the headquarters of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

Former Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De had residences in the compound.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: China View website
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