Tourists visit Likeng village in East China's Jiangxi Province. The village was placed on a State protection list in 2012 as it has a variety of ancient buildings. A total of 4 Cheap Cameron Johnston Jersey
,157 ancient villages are on the list as of Tuesday to preserve China's thousands of years of agricultural civilization. Photo: IC
Ancient buildings in many villages in China are rapidly disappearing due to rampant theft, which is the result of loose government regulations and a lack of legal protection, said experts.
A hollowed-out stone sculpture dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is now on display in an exhibition hall in Jinxi county, East China's Jiangxi Province.
"It took us nine years to get this sculpture, which was originally part of an ancient house, back from thieves Cheap DeAndre Carter Jersey
," Wang Jingxin, deputy chief of the Jinxi cultural and broadcast bureau, was quoted as saying on Sunday by Outlook Weekly, a magazine affiliated with the Xinhua News Agency.
Wang added that although the stone sculpture is not legally classified as a cultural relic, it is still worth some 100,000 yuan ($14 Cheap Malik Jackson Jersey
,578) due to its aesthetic and historic value.
China kicked off its preservation program for ancient villages in 2012. As of now, it has placed a total of 4,157 ancient villages on a State protection list to preserve the country's thousands of years of agricultural civilization.
Jinxi has 150 traditional villages and thousands of ancient buildings, which attract archaeological experts and tourists, while also giving ample opportunities to relic traffickers.
"The thieves arrive right after the experts leave," Peng Yichu Cheap DeSean Jackson Jersey
, a resident of Pengjia village in Jinxi county, told the magazine, adding that many parts of local historic buildings - such as plaques and archways - have been stolen and sometimes whole houses are carted away piece by piece.
Jinxi conducts special operations to crack down on the illegal trade in cultural relics every year and reported cases of relics being looted have gone from 62 in 2011 to 6 in 2015, but the official said this number is just the tip of the iceberg.
The theft of ancient buildings is not only rampant in Jiangxi, Ni Fangliu, a Nanjing-based archeology expert Cheap Nelson Agholor Jersey
, told the Global Times on Monday.
He noted that ancient buildings in suburban areas near historic cities such as Beijing and Chengdu are also facing the same threat.
Wang Guixiang, a professor of ancient architecture at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday that ancient buildings in rural areas are more vulnerable due to the lax application of regulations.
Ni said that since some of these stolen parts of buildings are not classed as cultural relics, those who steal them only face the charge of larceny, which means they receive a much lighter punishment than if they were charged with damaging cultural relics.
A ring of thieves who stole items worth 80,000 yuan from ancient village buildings in Jinxi only received a maximum sentence of three years and two months in jail Cheap Sidney Jones Jersey
, Outlook Weekly reported.
China used to execute people for smuggling relics and robbing historic ruins, but this was stopped in 2011.
In order to protect their relics and traditions, each of the villages on the State protection list receive a subsidy of 3 million yuan every year.
Most local governments to invest the money in building tourist attractions or even crudely renovating all the local buildings, said Ni, noting that most village officials are ignorant about the need to protect ancient buildings.
Local businesses are the only beneficiary when ancient villages are developed for tourism, while local villagers not involved in the tourist trade are indifferent toward protecting ancient buildings Cheap Derek Barnett Jersey
, said Outlook Weekly.
Wang noted locals should serve as the main force to protect disappering ancient buildings.
Village governments should direct the national subsidy toward these homeowners to encourage them to better protect their ancient houses, Wang suggested.
"Once the owners of these ancient houses understand their houses can benefit them economically, they won't tolerate any damage," said Wang.
According to Outlook Weekly, some villages in Jiangxi allow residents to rent their ancient houses to travel companies, which are then responsible for maintaining and renovating the houses and catering for tourists.
In addition Cheap Carson Wentz Jersey
, Wang also calls for a new law to specifically protect ancient buildings in villages.
In October, Southwest China's Guizhou Province drafted a regulation about protecting ancient villages, which will be the first such regional regulation once approved, the local Guiyang Evening News reported.
The Guiyang Evening News also reported that the regulation says anyone who conducts a "destructive operation" within the protection area, such as mining or damaging protected grasslands and rivers, will face a fine of up to 500 Cheap Dallas Goedert Jersey
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