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Journeys in Time 2010-05-12 National Treasures - The antiques market

05-12-2010 16:36 BJT


In this episode, we’ll trace the development of the market for antiques. Probably the most famous cultural street in Beijing, is Liulichang. It’s the location of numerous old shops selling curios and works of calligraphy and paintings. As a place where ancient traditions are preserved, Liulichang is popular among visitors to the capital. Collecting antiques has a long history in China. However, for most of history, this hobby has been the preserve of scholars and officials. However, by the 1980s, following the reform and opening, ordinary citizens were able to start their own collections of curios and ancient works of calligraphy and paintings.

Even though the domestic antiques market had been opened, in the early 1980s the Chinese economy was still undeveloped. For the vast majority of people, money was still short. Few could afford to collect antiques, however much they might have wanted to.

The 1992 Beijing International Auction was the first public auction of cultural relics held in China after the reform and opening. The sale provoked a series of disputes, which went far beyond anything anyone could have anticipated.

In recent years, more people have realized the value of antiques not only as objects of beauty, but also as investment items. As a result, prices have risen rapidly. A negative result of this burgeoning market has been the proliferation of imitations and forgeries. This means that anyone investing in antiques must be extremely cautious.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV.CN

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