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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Old Summer Palace expands relics exhibit areas

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Beijing's Yuanmingyuan Park, or Old Summer Palace, expects to improve the exhibition areas of more than 80,000 of its various relics this year, said an official of the park.

The dispersed relics, including broken ceramic pieces and bricks, are currently stored in the northern and southern parts of the park, forming two "Great Walls," or mounds, of relics, the Beijing Morning Post newspaper reported Wednesday.

The park has marked out a square for each of the exhibition areas and expects to implement its exhibition plan soon, the chief of the park's archaeology department, Chen Hui, was quoted by the newspaper as saying on Wednesday.

Apart from the dispersed relic piles, two of the park's warehouses are currently exhibiting some large relics, according to Chen.

"This exhibition could give tourists and visitors a closer look at the relics and help them know more about the history of Yuanmingyuan," said Li Mingde, a former vice-president of the Beijing Tourism Society.

In addition, Li said, the exhibition could contribute to the country's patriotic education, by reminding people of their history.

The Yuanmingyuan was a royal garden during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and was known for its variety of greenery, incredible architecture and many works of art, until the British and French expeditionary forces almost completely destroyed it during the Second Opium War (1856-60).

To gather together and protect the relics, the park administrators established a dispersed relics department, according to the report, which says that more than 80,000 pieces of cultural relics have been reclaimed from surrounding areas.

There is still a massive excavation project underway at the Old Summer Palace, where archaeologists have uncovered more than 50,000 relics.  The project started in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2020, as the biggest work of its kind in the ruined Yuanmingyuan Park so far. It has already covered 7,000 square meters.

Park administrators have put more than 50 million yuan ($7.5 million) into relics protection, according to the report.

However, there are still difficulties in reclaiming the relics, simply in terms of ownership by the country or individual owners, Li noted.

Global Times


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