Beijing Strengthens Relics Protection

Beijing has made significant progress in relic protection of historic sites and relics over the past year, said an official in charge of relic protection in the national capital.

Mei Ninghua, director of the municipal cultural heritage bureau, said that by the end of November last year, the city government had set aside 190 million yuan (US$22.81 million) for the restoration of 98 historic sites. Various interested organizations donated 600 million yuan (US$72.28 million) for the maintenance of these sites.

To date, 15 restoration projects have been completed and 34 are still under way.

Mei said that this year, maintenance will start on 28 more projects.

According to the official, in May, 2001 the city government allocated 330 million yuan (US$39.75 million) to repair or restore some 100 historic sites and relics.

Those which come under the plan include ancient city walls, former residences of imperial families and famous historical figures, temples, and sections of the Great Wall.

At present, Beijing has 3,500 historic sites, with a total floor space of 2 million square meters. Some, such as the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven are on the World Cultural Heritage list.

(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2002)

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