NEWS > Life
Letter from Dunhuang: Time running out to save cultural treasures
2007-09-24 17:42:25 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 25 -- There is more to Dunhuang than just the famed grottoes. Sun Pass, built over 2,000 years ago, is also high up on any visitor's list.

The ruins are not that impressive to look at, until it is pointed out that Sun Pass and Jade Gate Pass were one of two main gates along the fabled Silk Road.

Before the Han authorities set up the western border crossings in BC 121, Yangguan was a wasteland.

The Han administration encouraged migration to the area and started building a thriving frontier town.

"The Silk Road would not have existed without this period of development," Yangguan Museum chief Ji Yongyuan said.

The emergence of Dunhuang culture, which is both local and global, was not an accident. Early development made construction of the grottoes in AD 366 possible.

Although it is not obvious from the ruins, the Great Wall "is a living testimonial of the period", Ji said.

When Yangguan was first established it was the sole contact point between China and the states west of it.

In Western countries many relics of bygone empires have been preserved, but cultural preservation at Yangguan is now at "a very critical phase", Ji said.

"It isn't that the country, the province or the city has not paid notice - but the level

of attention is still not enough. Now is the time to rescue what we still have."

Ji is referring to remnants of the Great Wall, built some 2,100 years ago. At present, what's left of it covers an area of over 100,000 sq m, roughly 300 m in length.

"Two heavy rains will bring it down and you won't find anything left afterward," Ji said. "Once it falls, we're all doomed."

(Source: China Daily)

WIPO hosts exhibition showcasing creativity in Hong Kong  
New discovery found in Egypt's Tutankhamun tomb  
China attracts 162,000 students from 185 countries, regions in 2006  
Gate to be rebuilt in China's imperial garden  
Alleged daughter wants piece of James Brown's estate  
Chinese brands not lost in translation  
Zhang Ziyi now Hong Kong resident  
Airport to have prayer rooms  

SINA English is the English-language destination for news and information about China. Find general information on life, culture and travel in China through our news and special reportsˇAor find business partners through our online Business Directory. For investment opportunities with SINA, please click the link "Investor" below.
| About SINA | Investor | Media Kit | Comments or Question? |
Copyright © 1996-SINA Corporation, All Rights Reserved