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Large number of visitors a threat to historical relics at PKU

07-19-2010 15:40 BJT

With the coming of the summer holiday, a large number of visitors swarm into colleges and universities. Recently, every day there have been many visitors taking pictures of the marble boat on Peking University’s Weiming Lake, which was just repaired. 

Yesterday, the reporter saw that the area was full of people taking pictures on the ten-meter long and four-meter wide marble boat, which had at least 60 people on it. At the same time, the reporter found a twenty-centimeter long crack in the rock on the north side of the boat.

The marble boat crowded with visitors

The marble boat crowded with visitors

"It was just repaired, I hope it doesn’t collapse again, it is a cultural relic," said a student from the history department of Peking University.

One side of the Peking University marble boat collapsed during Spring Festival last year. Two or three pieces of stone totaling about two square meters detached from the base and the damage was not repaired until May 20th of last year.

Sitting in the water for a long time and also the constant trample of the visitors are the reasons for the collapse of the boat.

Ms. Cheng, who is taking pictures on the boat with her child says, “I heard that this boat has a long history and it has become the symbol of Peking University.” But when asked about the collapse of the boat, she says she doesn’t know about it.

The response of the school authorities

There will be a reservation system for groups to visit during the summer holiday period.

According to a worker with the general affairs department of Peking University, she needs to get information from the relevant department on whether the boat can accommodate so many people, if it cannot, they will inform the public security department immediately and promptly stop the visitors.

In response to the peak visitor period during the summer vacation, Peking University will carry out a visit reservation policy for groups from July 17th to August 22nd, and the groups should reserve three weeks ahead, reporters learned from Peking University’s security department this morning.

It is learned that the number of the people visiting Peking University during the summer vacation period is more than 5,000 every day.

Expert view

Advise PKU to put up signs

Zhou Shuanglin, an associate professor studying cultural relic protection in the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University, says that the marble boat can bear a certain amount of weight, but it will no doubt be destroyed after a long time.

There are two reasons why he doesn’t support a large number of visitors boarding the marble boat. First, it will affect the lifetime of the stone boat. Second, there is no guardrail ensuring the visitors’ safety.

Professor Zhou suggests that the management of Peking University should put up signs to remind visitors not to board the boat.

The site of the Yanyuan marble boat in Peking University is located in the university’s Weiming Lake, which was called the Shuchun Park during the Qing Dynasty, and was part of the Yuanmingyuan Garden, later given to He Shen by the Emperor Qianlong.

Yuanmingyuan was razed to the ground by the Anglo-French Allied Force in 1860 and Shuchun Garden was also destroyed, leaving only the base of the marble boat and the “Linfeng and Daiyue Building,” former site of the Linhuxuan today.

In Beijing, there is also the famous Summer Palace marble boat (built in 1755), which is currently not open to visitors.

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CNTV.CN

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