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An inferno that destroyed the spire and a large portion of the wooden roof structure of the 12th-century Notre Dame Cathedral in Pa
ris on Monday reinforced a cautionary message to Chinese authorities about the need to better protect vulnerable heritage sites.
The National Cultural Heritage Administration held a staff meeting on Tuesday night at wh
ich officials discussed the Paris fire and six major fires that have taken place at Chinese cultural heritage sites this year.
“The fire at Notre Dame in Paris rang the warning bell for us,” Song Xi
nchao, deputy director of the administration, said in an interview on Tuesday.
“The safety of cultural heritage sites is a red line that can never be crossed. It’s a global issue,” he said.
The six fires were in Sichuan, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces, officials said.
On Jan 6, a hall at Yunyan Temple in Jiangyou, Sichuan province, burned down. On
Feb 2, a wooden family temple from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in Nanchang, Jiangxi, was destroyed by fire.
eing restored as well. We have no room for even the slightest error,” Song said.
Liu Qingzhu, a cultural heritage expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “In anci
ent times, thunderstorms were the biggest threats for wooden architecture. They became much safer after l
ighting rods were widely installed. However, the use of electricity in restorations has created a new problem.”
Unlike the stone structures of much ancient architecture in the W
est, wood was the primary building material in ancient China. “If a fire similar to the one at Notre
Dame in Paris happened at a Chinese building, the whole building would probably burn down,” Liu said.
Hours after the fire in Paris, the Palace Museum in
Beijing, China’s former imperial palace from 1420 to 1911 and also known as the Forbidden City, held an eme
rgency meeting to go over its fire-prevention efforts. It is the world’s biggest architectural complex made of wood.
August, and its shares have slowly crawled back since Decembe
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The 7-coin set contains two gold coins and five silver coins, with a variety of shapes. Designs i
nclude traditional Chinese ornamentation, dragon, phoenix, flowers and bird. All are legal tender.
The coins are made by Shenzhen Guobao Mint, Shenyang Mint and Shanghai Mint.
tedly part of the French destiny and the project we will have for the coming years … a national subscription will be launched, and well beyon
d our borders we will appeal to the greatest talent, and there are many who will come to contribute and rebuild,” Macron said.
We will rebuild Notre Dame, because that’s what French people e
xpect, because it’s what our history deserves and because it’s our deep destiny,” he added.
Already, two of France’s wealthiest men have pledged large donations. Billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Ke
ring group, which owns fashion brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, pledged 100 m
illion euros ($113 million) toward rebuilding Notre Dame, Agence France-Presse reported.
Bernard Arnault, chief executive of the LVMH group, which owns fa
shion labels including Louis Vuitton and Bulgari, said he would donate 200 million euros.
Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Notre Dame, which has rece
ived about 13 million visitors each year－more than the Eiffel Tower－is regard
ed as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and sits at the heart of the nation’s history.