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Cao Cao tomb protection proposal under discussion

By Li Mao (Global Times)

08:57, January 11, 2012

Discussion began Tuesday over a protection proposal for the purported tomb of ancient warlord Cao Cao, located in Anyang, Henan Province. If approved, the tomb will soon be opened to the public, an Anyang official said.

Experts with the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage were invited to look into the feasibility of long-term preservation of the tomb, as well as the exhibition of its architecture and relics, Xu Huiqian, the Party chief of Anyang county, said Tuesday, the Henan-based Dahe Daily reported.

"The protection of the tombs will be put at the top of our agenda," Xu said.

He said that the local government was also obliged to create positive conditions for the academic research of the Three Kingdoms (220-280), many large questions about which have yet to be answered.

If the protection proposal is approved, Xu said that the project would start immediately. Upon its completion, the local government plans to build a museum and relic park near the tombs by 2015.

To solve current difficulty in reaching the tombs, construction on a road linking Henan Province and Hebei Province is expected to begin later this year, which would greatly reduce travel time.

Xu also denied claims that Anyang police were offering a 20,000 yuan ($3,000) reward for the capture of Yan Peidong, a self-proclaimed scholar of Three Kingdoms studies who claimed the tomb was a fraud on the Internet, as revenge.

Yan had claimed to hold irrefutable evidence that could prove the tomb was a fake on his microblog in 2010, after Cao Cao's resting place was discovered by archeologists one year earlier. Hebei police soon discovered the scholar was a suspect wanted for over six years in a dozen scam cases.

"I think it is normal for police to offer rewards when trying to catch a suspect," Xu said Tuesday. "Besides, Yan attacked the credibility of the tombs with fake evidence."

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