China’s Historical Relics to Be Preserved; Local Government Punishes Tomb Raiders Backed by Private Art Collectors
The State Administration for Cultural Heritage (SACH) blamed the local government for the lack of control that led to tomb looting. Ni Fangliu, a Nanjing-based archeology expert, said that there is a high demand for the historical relics and [looting] is fueled by private museums and art buyers who purchase the stolen artifacts. [...] Guo Dashun, former director of the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Archaeology, said, "Many private museums have a large demand for relics, which gives tomb looting a huge market." Ni said that if museums stop buying stolen relics, then there will not be a demand for them, and will put an end to tomb raiding. He explained, "If these museums refuse to take the illegal relics or report the thieves to the police, then no one is going to give them relics anymore." He also said that there should be a heavier punishment given to people involved in looting. Involvement in tomb raiding was punishable by death until 2011 because the government wanted to "lessen the number of executions."