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First cultural relics census excludes private collections


08:14, February 01, 2013

BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- China's first national survey of moveable cultural relics will not cover items owned by private collectors, according to an official document.

A work team leading the survey adopted an implementation plan on Thursday, defining the targets of the survey.

Last year, China announced it would launch the country's first census on moveable cultural relics from October 2012 to December 2016, a move to better gauge and protect the state of the country's relics.

The census will cover all cultural relics preserved by state organs, public service units, state-owned enterprises and organizations in the mainland.

After consulting with the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the census will also cover items preserved in the country's religious sites under cultural relics protection, said Li Xiaojie, head of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Fossils of ancient vertebrates and humans that are of scientific research value will also be surveyed, according to the plan.

However, cultural relics held by individuals and foreign collectors will not be included in the survey, the document said.

The exception was made out of consideration for private property rights, said Minister of Culture Cai Wu.

The census aims to accumulate information on the status of the country's cultural relics and record their basic information without prejudice to ownership, Li said.

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