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Dispersed relics return to Beijing’s Old Summer Palace

By Fang Tian (People's Daily Online)    17:20, October 11, 2017

More than 80,000 pieces of stones and bricks have returned to Beijing’s Yuanmingyuan, known as the Old Summer Palace, Beijing Morning News reported on Oct. 11.

The palace park was used as a royal garden during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and was known for its exquisite architecture and many works of art. Unfortunately, it was destroyed and many treasures were looted during the Second Opium War (1856-60).

A massive archaeological excavation has uncovered more than 50,000 cultural relics so far. All of the excavated relics are exhibited in the park so that the public can learn more about the park and its history.

In 2015, a working group responsible for recovering lost relics was set up. Over 80 thousand relics have been recovered to date, including lost bricks, tiles, and stone sculptures.

Over 50 million yuan (around $7.6 million) has been used to preserve Yuanmingyuan. There are now 1,100 surveillance cameras, and the remaining architecture has been reinforced.

Every brick and tile is a cultural relic of the palace, said Chen Hui, director of the park’s department for the protection of cultural relics.

Though the stone pieces are less valuable compared with some renowned pieces of art from the garden, they are still parts of the garden and should go back home, said Chen.

The returned stones have been placed near the south wall, creating a 20-meter long “Great Wall.” Visitors will be able to appreciate the dispersed relics this year.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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