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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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Second Saturday of June to Be “Cultural Heritage Day”

Last September, we reported that China hoped to establish an annual Cultural Heritage Day to restore our confidence in the future of our vanishing cultural heritage. Now this hoped for event has occurred: the national government recently announced that, starting this year, the second Saturday of June every year would be national Cultural Heritage Day.  The only difference with our earlier report is that this day is not to be celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (Duan Wu Jie), but instead will be celebrated on the second Saturday of June. This is perhaps to give the celebration of this day a broader audience.
 
In its establishment of Cultural Heritage Day, the government expressed its dissatisfaction with the present state of cultural heritage conservation. The government feels that in many old districts of cities, in old buildings, and in archaeological sites, there has been much destruction, illegal transfer of cultural artifacts, theft of tombs, and smuggling of antiquities; moreover, there has been no effective suppression of these illegal activities, as a result of which many cultural treasures of the country have disappeared from China, and the special character of ethnic and regional cultures has been lost at an ever increasing rate.
In an effort to halt this destruction of cultural heritage, every department of the central government and all local governments have been called upon to put in place systems for the protection of cultural heritage. In addition, the government has called for a system of regular reporting on the protection of cultural heritage, for consultation with cultural experts, and for making cultural heritage protection more scientific and more popularly based.
In order to strengthen popular consciousness of cultural heritage protection, China now has a “Cultural Heritage Day”, a “Cultural Heritage Logo”, and a “Cultural Heritage Protection Song”. Although the state of cultural heritage protection today remains abysmal, we nonetheless that the situation will improve, and that the rate of improvement depends on our efforts.
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