Funding plan to preserve cultural relics approved

Updated: 2014-07-15 07:18

(China Daily)

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Guangzhou authorities approved a plan on Tuesday to use a special fund of 60 million yuan ($9.6 million) this year to preserve the city's cultural relics.

The first installment, about 40.8 million yuan, will be used to subsidize and support five areas: urgent repair of State-owned non-movable cultural relics; maintenance and renovation of non-State-owned non-movable cultural relics; employment of supervisors to protect cultural relics; scientific research on the protection of cultural relics; and archeological study before selling State-owned land.

The proprietor of non-State-owned non-removable cultural relics can be subsidized up to 2 million yuan, covering up to 70 percent of the renovation budget.

Government subsidies for the protection of non-State-owned, non-movable cultural relics is a highlight of the plan, but ensuring that these funds are used well is not easy, according to a news release from the city's Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Press and Publication.

"The staff of the cultural relics department have often run into problems in their work, such as the lack of proprietor funds and the difficulty of reaching consensus among multiple owners of an item," the release said.

"To ensure better use of the special fund, we will host forums to gather experts, proprietors and NGOs to brainstorm."

The government has appropriated 5 million yuan of the special fund for archeological work. Remarkable achievements have been made, including the city's first discovery of boats dating to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which shows bustling river transport in that period.

The district governments will collect applications from the proprietors of non-State-owned non-movable cultural relics for renovation subsidies from July 5 to Aug 15. The bureau will examine the applications, and approved proprietors will receive funding from the rest of this year's special fund or from next year's fund.

- Xu Jingxi

(China Daily 07/15/2014 page7)