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128 Key Cultural Relics of National Level Seriously Damaged in Earthquake
The anti-earthquake and disaster relief team of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) led by SHAN Jixiang, Head of SACH, recently carried out a series of field investigations in Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, and Gansu, which were seriously influenced by the “5.12” earthquake taking place in Wenchuan of Sichuan Province, on the damage of earthquake to the cultural relics, the institutes of cultural relics conservation, and the museums.

It is shown that the earthquake has seriously damaged the cultural relics and heritages in these areas. According to the statistics of SACH, the disaster-hit area involves 39 counties and cities of 14 regions including Chengdu Municipality, Mianyang Municipality, Deyang County, and Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, where about 1,000 cultural relics were influenced, including one World Cultural Heritage (Dujiang Dam), 47 key cultural relics of national level, 225 of provincial level, 684 of county-level, and a number of Tibetan and Qiang blockhouses and villages that have been listed in the preparatory catalogue of World Cultural Heritage.

Uniquely in Sichuan Province, there were 68 key cultural relics of national level and 142 of provincial level damaged by the earthquake to different degrees. Among the damaged key cultural relics of national level, the Annunciation Cathedral in Pengzhou and the ancient building complex of Erwang Temple in Dujiangyan completely collapsed, while the ancient building complex of the old “Tianyi” wine house of Jiannanchun in Mianzhu and the Qiang village of Taoping in Li County partially collapsed. In Gansu Province, there were 18 key cultural relics of national level, 17 of provincial level, and 19 of county-level either cracking or partially collapsing to different degrees, while there were damaged about 600 pieces of antiques reserved in the institutes of cultural relics conservation, among which more than 50 are listed as precious ones. Moreover, 15 museum buildings either cracked or leaned to different degrees. In Shaanxi Province, 56 cultural relics were damaged by the disaster, among which 29 are of national level, and 308 pieces of movable cultural relics were damaged, including 41 precious ones.

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