Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Museums and Protection of Cultural Relics
(1,508 words)

Since the foundation of the Republic in 1912, the different levels of bureaucratic organization have focused on state protection and conservation of antiquities (guwu baohu). This includes continuing the dynastic activities of collecting treasures and precious items. The reinterpretation of "antiquities" as "cultural relics" (wenwu) appears to have taken place after the foundation of the People's Republic. Cultural goods are separated into antiquary (gudai wenwu: until the end of the Qing period) and contemporary pieces (jindai/xiandai wenwu: after 1912). Similar to the…

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Prüch, Margarete, “Museums and Protection of Cultural Relics”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 10 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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