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China bans using historical sites as business assets


08:53, December 28, 2012

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, or China's cabinet, has banned the use of cultural heritage sites in business operations more than a year after a palace in the Forbidden City was converted into a private luxury club.

In a circular dated Dec. 19 but released on Wednesday, the cabinet stressed that immovable cultural relics should not be transferred, mortgaged, tampered with or treated as business assets.

The conversion of cultural or historical sites into private clubs or restaurants occasionally occurs in China, with the most notable case being a club built in the Forbidden City's Jianfu Palace, where membership is said to cost 1 million yuan (160,281 U.S. dollars).

The circular cited urban development as a problem for historical buildings, banning groups or individuals from demolishing or removing cultural relics and historic buildings at will.

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