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China considers heritage protection law

08-27-2010 10:36 BJT Special Report:16th Session of the 11th NPC Standing Committee |

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China's top legislature, the National People's Congress, has begun deliberating a law that will improve protection of some quickly disappearing intangible cultural heritage.

The draft law is comprised of six parts, including the definition of intangible cultural heritage as well as mechanisms for its surveys, regulation of its inheritance and penalties for destruction.

Intangible cultural heritage is defined as the traditional cultural expressions and practices of China's various ethnic groups that have been passed down through generations.

Material objects and sites of these expressions and practices are also recognized as intangible cultural heritage.

The draft law proposes the creation of lists of national and local intangible cultural heritage that is of historic, literary, artistic or scientific value.

The intengible heritages will be categorized into the national ones and provincial ones. And the government at county level should make regular surveys of the protection of the heritages.

Foreign organizations can only make such surveys in China after obtaining Chinese government approval and in cooperation with Chinese academic research institutions.

The draft law is also protecting cultural heritage from being linked to business.

Ma Wenhui, Culture Ministry, said, "The draft law forbids anyone damaging cultural heritage. Behaviors that alter the true meaning or the original status of the cultural heritage to gain profits will be punished."

Some traditional culture is either disappearing or being over-developed. It's hoped this protection law will stop the trend.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV

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