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Remains of Nanjing Massacre victims well preserved
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The remains of the victims of the Nanjing Massacre have been well preserved in the original ruin sites, which have been housed in the new Nanjing Massacre Memorial, said the curator.

"The remains will be exhibited in the Memorial, which is scheduled to reopen Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of the massacre, after two years of extension construction," said Zhu Chengshan.

"All 227 bodily remains have been treated with state-of-the-artpreservation technology, and they remain intact in the original state as when they were first found," he said.

The memorial hall, built on the site of Wanrenkeng, or the Pit of 10,000 Corpses, is located near Jiangdong Gate in the southeastern part of the city. It is the site where thousands of victims were slain and buried in December 1937, when Japanese troops occupied Nanjing, according to historical records.

There have been three discoveries of bodily remains in the area, which took place during the construction of the memorial, since the 1980s.

"The three ruin remains, now preserved under the roof of the memorial, are the most valuable relics here. They serve as the stark evidence of Japanese atrocities in China, which can invalidate any fallacy to falsify this part of history," said Zhu.

The latest find of 19 bodily remains was on 21 April last year at the construction site of the extension project of the memorial, which broke ground in December 2005.

Fourteen of the bodies were found in one place and the other five were scattered nearby. The 14 bodies were distorted and in disarray. Fractures were obvious.

"The remains have been disinfected, de-mildewed and calcification-treated, so that they can be well preserved in the temperature-controlled memorial hall," said the curator.

The 1,300-square-meter hall of the Nanjing Massacre Memorial was first opened in 1985 to house photos, documents and other memorabilia, as well as the written testimony of 1,700 survivors and witnesses to the massacre.

"Construction workers found the first bodies in 1984 when building the memorial. However, the bodies were not preserved in the original state but were moved to a separate exhibition room, due to a lack of preservation experience at that time," said Zhu.

Another 208 bodily remains were unearthed in 1999, when China began the site preservation scheme of Massacre victims' remains. The ruins, covered in a glass mantle, had been exhibited in an open-door condition until the extension project of the memorial was launched in 2005.

The new 25,000-square-meter extension of the memorial hall is equipped with systems to control temperature, humidity and ventilation to preserve the ruins.

Japanese troops occupied Nanjing on Dec, 13, 1937, and began six weeks of destruction, pillage, rape and slaughter. Historical records show that more than 300,000 Chinese, including unarmed soldiers and innocent civilians, were murdered.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2007)

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