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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Beijing heritage rebuilding to make up historical loss: official (2)

(Xinhua)

09:15, March 02, 2012

The money will not only be spent on the rebuilding of the six iconic architectural structures, but also on renovations of six world heritage sites and other 100 relics, it said.

The bureau also has launched a survey on its website to solicit public opinions on the rebuilding and renovation plan.

About 47 percent of the respondents supported the initiative, saying it will help restore the taste of ancient Beijing, while 28 percent said rebuilding was meaningless, the bureau said, declining to reveal the number of netizens surveyed.

The survey results, however, could not be viewed online and therefore were questioned if they truly reflect the viewpoints of the general public.

"Once the cultural relics were demolished, they could never be restored. Even if they are rebuilt, the copies should not be called 'relics,'" said Xie Chensheng, an advisor to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

"I don't oppose the rebuilding of iconic ancient structures if existing relics are well protected. But as for the agenda of the relics protection authorities, the protection should always be the priority," Xie said.

The public outcry over the past week was also fueled by seemingly endless demolition of some other old Beijing buildings, mostly notably the "siheyuan," or traditional courtyard homes.

Over the years, many old courtyard homes in Beijing have been bulldozed to make way for real estate or infrastructure projects. The former courtyard homes of many celebrities could not avoid the same fate either.

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