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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Beijing heritage rebuilding to make up historical loss: official

(Xinhua)

09:15, March 02, 2012

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The head of Beijing's administration of cultural heritage Thursday responded to a public outcry sparked by the city's plan to rebuild six historical structures, saying the plan aims to make up for historical loss.

The six structures are mainly city gates of the old capital city of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), China's last two feudal dynasties. Most of the city gates and city walls of Ming and Qing were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s to make way for new roads or subway lines.

"After New China was established, the city government demolished the Ming and Qing city walls for the sake of transport. It's a historical regret," said the administration's director Kong Fanzhi.

"The rebuilding was designed to make up for the historical loss," Kong added.

The agency announced last Thursday that it will invest 1 billion yuan (159 million U.S. dollars), the largest annual spending of its kind, on relics restoration and renovation this year. The investment represents a significant increase from 150 million yuan spent annually over the past couple of years.

The plan has sparked a public outcry over the past week as many question the lavish spending on "fake" cultural relics.

In response to the public questioning, the municipal bureau of cultural heritage said in a statement Thursday that the 1 billion yuan investment was an indication of Beijing's determination to protect the city's historical heritage.

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