The first forum for social forces involved in the protection of cultural relics was held by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation (CFCHC) and Guangming Daily in Beijing on November 3rd. The policies, mechanisms and legislation for the involvement of social forces in the conservation of cultural relics were discussed during the forum. Representatives of charitable foundations, grassroots social organizations, state social organizations, academics and volunteers in related fields all attended.
The deputy chief editor of Guangming Daily gave a speech at the forum. He said that every generation should be and must be the protector of historical relics, so that cultural heritage can be handed over to the next generations in a well-preserved form. He called it a “sacred mission” and said everyone should take responsibility.
The chairman of CFCHC Li Xiaojie also gave a speech in which he analyzed the current situation regarding the protection of cultural relics. He pointed out that the participation of social forces in this endeavour was not only feasible but urgently needed. He went on to say that the current protection work is too heavy for the present cultural relic museum system to deal with, due to the existing administrative and institutional mechanisms. Social forces are however able to play a significant role that government agencies cannot replace.
Li added that one of the most valuable assets of social forces was that they were non-governmental and non-profit. Cultural relic conservation is related to the public good, so social forces can take care of it because of their charitable nature. What’s more, social forces can also provide their comments and opinions on related policies and supervise their implementation on behalf of the public.
At the end of the forum, a proposal for social forces to participate in the protection of cultural relics was adopted. It advocates that all the social organizations and volunteers working in this field should actively participate in setting up a system for the protection of cultural relics, supervise and manage it and take part in protection and conservation work.