Authorities in spat over fire at Tsinghua

15:06, November 30, 2010      

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Beijing culture heritage authorities refuted comments made by Tsinghua University's president regarding the blaze that burned a 99 year-old building on campus this month after he said that the construction company working on the building when it caught fire was hired for a "reinforcement project."

President Gu Binglin said Saturday that the historic Tsinghua Schoolhouse was undergoing a "reinforcement" project when the fire broke out on November 13, adding "the construction company was qualified," the Beijing Times reported.

The Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage pointed out earlier last week that the No.3 Construction Company of Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which was contracted for the project, was unqualified to carry out historic renovations.

"We have noted president Gu's response and will discuss it further before coming to a conclusion," Yin Jun, spokesperson of the administration, told the Global Times.

According to the administration, Tsinghua University filed applications for renovation on May 6 but no plans were submitted.

Gu insists the fire did not damage main structure of the building after city administration chief Kong Fanzhi said earlier that wooden structure had been seriously damaged, which was the most serious damage suffered by Beijing's cultural architecture in 10 years.

By Yang Jie, Global Times


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