Fundraising drive to repair Chinese tombs in UK

By Wang Kaihao | | Updated: 2016-12-02 09:27

The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation announced in Beijing on Wednesday that it plans to start a public fundraising campaign to collect about 400,000 yuan ($58,000) to repair the tombs of five Chinese soldiers in Newcastle, in the United Kingdom.

The five soldiers, who died between 1881 and 1887, were part of a naval group commissioned to receive four cruisers, manufactured in the UK, for the Beiyang Fleet.

Unfortunately, they died of illness and were buried by the Qing government in Newcastle.

The Beiyang Fleet was generally considered to be a powerful force in Asia at that time, but it was defeated and annihilated by Japan during the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95).

The Qing government once repaired the tombs in 1911, but they have not been maintained since.

Meanwhile, three tombstones have since collapsed and the dilapidated condition of the tombs was brought to public attention recently when pictures of the structures were posted online by a Chinese student to Britain.

The fundraising project is the first one by the Beijing-based foundation to restore a Chinese historical site overseas.

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