BEIJING — The preservation of cultural relics in China is beset of myriad challenges, with cases of destruction, fire and theft all reported in 2015, the cultural heritage authority said on March 24.
According to figures released by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), last year there were over 140 security incidents related to cultural relics, including 23 fires, 29 thefts and 89 illegal excavations.
Violations conducted by juridical persons accounted for 78 percent of the cases related to cultural relics directly supervised by the administration in 2015, the authority said.
More thefts and illegal excavations were reported in 2015, according to the administration. The Internet, it said, had made it harder to uncover these cases.
Incidents of fire in historical cities, villages and ancient building sites have also increased in recent years, said the administration.
The administration promised to improve supervision and welcomed tip-offs from the public. It also said it would cooperate closely with public security agencies.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, issued an instruction earlier this month calling for better preservation work and law enforcement, and said protection efforts would be included in local officials’ evaluation.