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Century-old ancestral hall severely damaged

By Xu Chi  (Shanghai Daily)

09:53, November 14, 2012

(File Photo)

Shanghai cultural heritage authorities said they are working on a repair and renovation plan to protect an ancestral hall built in 1916 from falling apart after it was used as a free warehouse by a nearby machinery factory.

The old building, named the Ancestral Hall of Shen's Family, is located in Qiujiang Village of Jiading District and nominally under the protection of the district government as a valuable culture heritage, but a lack of maintenance work has left the building severely damaged.

The building, on Jinyuan No. 1 Road, has long cracks in its walls. Corners of the building show signs of grass having been burned.

Inside the hall, bags of garbage were piled up on the floor in each of its rooms. Almost all the wooden frames of doors and windows have been damaged and the railings in corridors were broken.

A man who entered the hall and parked his moped in the corridor told Xinmin Evening News that the hall has been abandoned for many years.

The nearby factory, about 10 meters away from the hall, used it to store gears or scrap steel, he said.

A 76-year-old man surnamed Chen who knew the history of the hall said the Ancestral Hall of Shen's Family used to be the pride of Qiujiang Village.

Chen said the hall was built in 1916, and an elementary school was moved into it in 1951. Since the school moved, the hall has been abandoned, he said.

An official surnamed Jin with Jiading District Museum said local officials are starting to work on a repair and renovation plan to protect the hall. It may be carried out in the beginning of next year.

An ancestral hall usually serves as a site of veneration of ancestors in Chinese culture.





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