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Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Another step forward: protecting the Former Residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin

In November last year, CHP wrote “Uncertain Future: The Fate of the Residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin”. This article described the official complaint that Zhang Pei, and six other city residents, had filed with the national-level State Administration of Cultural Heritage about the behavior of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage.

We now finally have some good news to report! The State Administration of Cultural Heritage has released an “Administrative Reconsideration Letter of Decision”.

This document rules that the behavior related to this case was incorrect, and orders city officials to assign the Former Residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin as a protected monument.

The letter directs that the residence becomes protected under the Cultural Relics Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China beginning from the day that the letter was issued.

This decision represents a great victory for city residents. It is the first case of administrative redress since the Provisional Regulations Governing the Management of the Designation of Cultural Relics legislation was implemented on October 1, 2009.

We must thank the seven city residents who submitted the application: Zhang Pei, He Muren, Jin Yingyuan, Wang Hui, Guo Ran, Li Chao and ZhongDandan. Their devotion is both protecting the Former Residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin and advancing the cause of civil society in China.

At the same time, the protection that the architects’ former residence enjoys under the Cultural Relics Protection Law, though useful, does not mean it will receive appropriate protection. The implementation of laws in China cannot occur without people’s supervision.

Our next objective is to push the government to make the former residence an official cultural heritage site protected at the provincial level. Otherwise, the future of the Former Residence of Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin will remain uncertain.

Meanwhile, we encourage everybody to continue to closely watch and participate in this important cultural matter as its important story is still ongoing.

CHP would like to thank our volunteer translator, Ben Golze, for his outstanding translation of this article.

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