Local authorities in Zhejiang Province have started an
investigation into damage caused to a nationally protected cultural
heritage site allegedly by a TV production company that was
shooting a kung fu TV show.
The cultural site, called Xiandu Scenic Zone, is located in
Jinyun County in the southern part of Zhejiang. It has carved
Chinese characters on a cliff face, done during the Ming Dynasty
To improve their show, the team from Guangdong-based Qiangshi TV
Production Company painted the rocks last May to cover up two large
Chinese characters. They did this without the permission of the
"After the damage, they gave 2,000 yuan (US$250) to the zone's
workers to clean it off," said Hou Xiaoyu, a top official with
Zhejiang Bureau of Cultural Heritage.
"This irresponsible behavior has broken the national law to
protect cultural heritage sites," said Yang Xinping, another
official from the bureau.
According to the law, any person or institution that wants to
change a cultural site must get the permission of the local
cultural heritage administration bureau beforehand.
"They didn't even get permission to shoot in Xiandu and so that
was illegal too," added Yang.
In 2001, to protect cultural sites, the State Administration of
Cultural Heritage issued a regulation, saying that all production
companies must get the permission of local administrators before
shooting in protected places.
"It's lucky that local residents asked them to stop damaging the
carvings, or a lot more damage would have been caused," Hou
The TV production company apologized in a public letter for the
damage to the cultural site last Sunday, but Hou said their
intention was only to "shirk their responsibility."
"They claimed in the apology that they had no idea the carved
words were cultural relics, but this claim doesn't hold water since
everyone who has been to Xiandu knows the carved words are
historic," Hou said.
The damage did not arouse concern until it was revealed by local
media reports last week.
"We immediately stepped in after we read the reports and
required Jinyun County government to launch an investigation," Hou
This kind of damage is just one of several cases across
There was widespread concern after mainland director Chen
Kaige's production team was condemned recently after damage to a
lake in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.
(China Daily August 17, 2006)