A group of renowned scholars gathered in Peking University to jointly sign a proposal for setting up a special fund to protect China's cultural heritages.
Protection of the ecological environment and cultural heritage has become an urgent and unavoidable task facing China with a long history and abundant heritage, the proposal says. The fund will be chiefly used in the popularization and publicity on related knowledge, staff training, research on and protection of national heritages.
Figures show currently China has 27 relics on World Heritage List, with scores still in application. There are 750 sites under state protection, over 7,000 under provincial and more than 60,000 under county or city protection, with registered relics scattered in 400,000 sites. Statistics from the Ministry of Culture revealed that the nation's expenditure on the protection of cultural heritage stood at 729 million yuan in 1999, or only 10,000-odd yuan per site when this sum of money is shared out by 60,000 sites at and above the county level, in fact sites able to receive the fund were no more than 3,000 to 4,000.
Beijing, as the political and cultural center of China, should take the lead in undertaking this task of heritage protection, the proposal says.
(People's Daily 02/28/2001)