China Focus: China strengthens cultural heritage protection (Xinhua New.cn, June 7, 2013)
- A grave robber’s world, (China.org.cn, May 15, 2010)
- The State Administration of Cultural Heritage, on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, is making a request to the Government of the United States for assistance under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention to restrict importation of Chinese antiquities. Please read public summary for more details.
- Efforts being made to reclaim cultural relics (kaogu.cn, May 30, 2006)
- CHP Cracks Smuggling Case, (December 2, 2005, CHP)
- Saving the Cultural Relics of the Three Gorges (china.org.cn, February 16, 2005)
- “Protecting relics tops priorities” by Li Jing China Daily (January 14, 2005)
- Along the Silk Road, China Begins to Guard Its Heritage by Judith H. Dobrzynski (July 15, 2004, The New York Times)
- All cultural, natural sites deserve protection by Zheng Li, (June 29, 2004 Sohu.com)
- Rich Chinese bid to buy back ‘stolen’ treasures (June 4, 2004, CulPropProtNet/MusSecNetwork)
- China, Italy team up to protect cultural relics (February 10, 2004, People’s Daily)
- Participants of the Seminar on Fighting Against the Illicit Traffic of Chinese Cultural Heritage agreed that “the Chinese Government has made great achievements in protecting the Chinese cultural heritage, and fighting against illicit traffic and smuggling of cultural heritage.” (UNESCO, 2001)
- The Chinese government spent millions at auction buying back looted treasures (China Buys Back its Past by Spencer P.M. Harrington, May 11, 2000, Archaeology)
- Chinese authorities clamp down on antiquities theft (Chinese Thieves Executed, but Loot Remains at Large by Spencer P.M. Harrington February 2, 2000)
Some organizations in China devoted to cultural heritage protection
- Zhonggou wenwubao, the journal of the Chinese National Administration of Cultural Heritage had a special issue on the looting of the worlds cultural heritage, the 14th February 2003. A follow up was published on 21 February 2003. The journal is published once a week and distributed all over China including thousands of museums, cultural institutions, universities, cultural heritage professionals etc. It is also distributed to sinologists all over the world.
Source: He Shuzhong, Cultural Heritage Watch Weekly Observation “How Many Cultural Properties Are Illegally Exported by Container Ship?”12/25/2000, courtesy of Ton Cremer
Container ships are now the main means of transport of illegal cultural properties from China.
Facing so many large containers in seaports everyday, the authorities could do nothing, to a great extent, to stop the smuggling if there are no clues. Although it is said that X-ray Apparatus for container is being developing, such news seems useless for deterring the smuggling. Actually, analyzing and spot check is the main method for the stopping, although it is inefficient. Just several days ago, the customs house in the seaport of Tianjin City seized a smuggling by such method. The officer found a container, which was declared to load new furniture by a foreign trade company, was suspicious. As the result, the smuggling of 412 pieces of illegal properties loading in this container, including wooden figures of Buddha, pottery and porcelain, stones from remote antiquity, was seized at the last minute.
Now the case is being hearing. On the one hand, we should thank the custom officers’ hard work. On the other hand, we are sure that even the custom officers could not say clearly how many cultural properties have been smuggled by container ships. s