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Beijing probes restaurants in ancient temples


08:02, January 30, 2013


Key Words: historic building; cultural relics; ancient temple; protection
>> China should take all means to protect historic buildings
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>>Is 'culture' inferior to 'commercialization'?

BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Beijing authorities said on Tuesday they are investigating the legality of two high-class restaurants operating in two ancient temples in the capital.

The restaurants are houses in the Zhizhu and Songzhu temples of Beijing's Dongcheng District. They have a history of 600 years and 300 years, respectively.

Zhao Jianming, a law enforcement official with the Beijing Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau, said investigations are ongoing into whether the commercial catering activities have been approved or not.

The two temples were included in Beijing's list of cultural heritage protection sites in 1984. Under Chinese laws, such sites can not be used for businesses except with special approvals.

The bureau said recently that it plans to encourage non-government investment in the protection and restoration of the city's historical architecture this year.

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