Chinese Minister rails: renovation projects damage similar to cultural revolution
Qiu Baoxing, the vice-minister of construction, said the damage to the country's heritage was similar to that wrought during the cultural revolution of 1966-76.
In the early stages of that period, Red Guards ransacked temples and burned ancient scripts in the name of revolutionary politics. Today, the damage is more likely to be done by urban developers in the name of economic progress.
Historical sites and cultural relics have been devastated by "renovation" projects, Mr Qiu was quoted as saying by the China Daily. In an unusually fierce criticism of the architectural landscape of modern China, the vice-minister said that too many local governments were guilty of a "blind pursuit of the large, the new and the exotic".
"This is leading to a poor sight," he said. "Many cities have a similar construction style. It is like a thousand cities having the same appearance." He said such "senseless actions" were the fault of local officials, who were "totally unaware of the value of cultural heritage".
His comments underscore concerns that China, one of the world's oldest civilisations, is paying too high a price for its economic expansion.
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History