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China Lacks Professionals to Restore Unearthed Relics

Due to a lack of professionals, China needs at least 2,000 years to restore about 20 million unearthed relics, sources said.

Currently, China has less than 500 people who are capable of restoring relics, said Xu Taosheng, deputy curator of the pottery and porcelain museum of Jingdezhen city in east China's Jiangxi Province.

He said restoration of relics was arduous work, which required great labor, material resources and time.

He said it took some 10 days to repair a one-millimeter crack or a broken edge of a piece of pottery or porcelain, and one to two months to repair a bigger crack.

If a person repairs one relic a month, it means China needs at least 2,000 years to restore about 20 million unearthed relics, he said.

Chinese experts have extended great efforts to train more people in the skills of restoring relics over the years.

A group of 68 people selected from across the country have just graduated from a training course on restoration of pottery and porcelain, which was co-sponsored by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Jiangxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage and the cultural heritage bureau of Jingdezhen city Town.

Trainees studied the development process of China's ancient pottery and porcelain industry, practical skills for restoring ancient pottery and porcelain, and knowledge on raw materials.

Previously, China hosted training courses on restoration of ancient bronze, calligraphy and paintings.

More training courses have been planned in the future, said Xu, the deputy curator.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2003)

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