Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chinese Cultural Bureucrats Okay Demolition of Cultural Preservationists' Home

The Chinese cultural bureaucracy has approved the demolition of the historic home of a U. Pennsylvania educated couple who were early advocates of cultural preservation within China. See The home had previously been designated an official "cultural relic."

One of the loudest critics of American collectors has asserted it is "none of our business" how the Chinese treat their cultural patrimony. See

But, if so, perhaps it's not really about conservation, but control, as far as the archaeological community is concerned.


Paul Barford said...

Perhaps Cultural property Observer would like to inform his readers of the difference between “immovable cultural relic”, and “protected historic site” in Chinese cultural legislation?

There is a 2009 Archaeology Channel video showing what was demolished,

Looks like a candidate for delisting to me, and a "blue plaque".

The NYT article (and your post) give the impression that this demolition was officially sanctioned, but earlier articles from the end of January when this happened indicate that this was done by the developer without reporting to Dongcheng District Government and getting the approval of Beijing Municipal Administrations of Cultural Heritage. Is that not the case?

So you have no rogue developers in the USA? Lucky you, this type of defiant destruction by landowners is happening in many countries - including the United Kingdom (for example the bulldozing of Priddy Circles last year) - but your blog'd not be paying attention to that since they don't have MOUs about unlawfully exported coins with the USA do they?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Thank you. This is very revealing concerning your true views about cultural preservation. Apparently, it is only to be used as a convenient club against collectors, and not to be discussed when the actions of source countries are issue. The double standards of archaeologists and source country cultural bureaucrats make it relevant for purposes of this blog.