Beijing to mark 150th anniversary of looting of Old Summer Palace from Monday

19:39, September 25, 2010      

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China will start a series of commemorative activities Monday for the 150th anniversary of the looting of Beijing's Yuanmingyuan, or the Old Summer Palace.

The activities, organized by the Haidian District Government of Beijing, consist of academic conferences, exhibitions, Sino-foreign culture exchanges and a soiree, Chen Mingjie, director of the Management Office of Yuanmingyuan, said Saturday.

Under the theme "Peace, cooperation and harmony," the activities will last for nearly one month.

Visitors will not only be able to see ancient stone-carvings kept intact during the looting, but also 150 repaired relics items.

During the activities, the France-China Friendship Society will donate a statue of Victor Hugo, a French writer who wrote about the looting in a book.

A soiree celebrating the great changes that took place at Yuanmingyuan over the past 300 years will be held on Oct. 18, the exact date the looting occurred 150 years ago.

Located in northwest Beijing, Yuanmingyuan was a resort for the imperial families of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

It was burned down by Anglo-French allied forces during the Second Opium War in 1860. It was sacked and burned down again in 1900 when the Eight-Power Allied Forces -- troops sent by Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Tsarist Russia, Japan, Italy and Austria -- occupied Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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