Friday, June 24, 2005


World's largest water conservancy project spurs unprecedented cultural relics preservation


People's Daily
June 22, 2005

Together with the smooth process of the Three Gorges project, the world's largest water conservancy project, an unprecedented cultural relics preservation of the precious heritage from China's forefathers was initiated.

As for those without any clear idea about the preservation, figures play a convincing role: over 60,000 pieces of cultural relics were unearthed in the reservoir region, 3,000 of which are the most treasured ones. They will be collected by a state-level museum especially set up for them.

To Wang Chuanping, an official in charge of the culture relics preservation of the Three Gorges Museum, the word "unprecedented" has many implications.

Almost at the same time as the Three Gorges Project launched in 1996, a 31-volume report on preserving the cultural relics of the inundated areas also came out, which pinned over 1,000 sites for preservation using 1 billion yuan (about 125 million US dollars).

The cultural relics preservation projects attracted 72 units from around China, accounting for two thirds of the country's total. Thousands of archeologists excavated more than 200,000 cubic meters within one year, equivalent to ten years' workload.

Approved by the State Council in 2000, the China Three Gorges Museum, covering 40,000 square meters of floor space and costing 650 million yuan (about 80 million US dollars), was opened to the outside last Saturday, providing a sheltering place for cultural relics from the areas to be inundated.

The museum, which is designed to preserve 300,000 pieces of cultural relics, has provided a platform to exhibit the archeology achievements of the Three Gorges area.

The Three Gorges Project, the world's biggest hydroelectric scheme, began in 1993 and is expected to be completed in 2009. The cultural relics preservation, which includes 700 underground sites and 300 ancient architectures, is without any doubt a unmatched endeavor, said Wang.

Source: Xinhua


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