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New law stiffens penalty for destroying relics

2014-01-29 09:08 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Wang Fan

People who vandalize cultural relics face being detained, according to a new regulation released by Shanxi province.

The regulation defined serious cases where perpetrators face serious penalties for destroying cultural relics, according to a report by China National Radio earlier this month.

According to China's Public Security Administration, people who deface cultural relics will be detained for five to 10 days, and will have to pay fines ranging from 200 yuan ($33) to 500 yuan.

The regulation provides a standard for law enforcement officers, said Wang Weixing, head of the legal affairs office of Shanxi province.

It is difficult to restore cultural relics that have been defaced by graffiti or had names carved on them, said Xu Gaozhe, head of regulation department of Shanxi cultural relics bureau.

Warnings and measures to inform the public had little effect, he said.

Local residents offered mixed views on the issue.

Shanxi needs to protect its relics, said a female public servant in Shanxi, surnamed Wen.

Li Chen, a student in Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi province, also wants parents to be penalized. "If some over-indulged children carved characters on the relics, who should be detained?"

In many cases, parents should take responsibility, Li added.

The aim behind the regulation was good but the key issue is enhancing public awareness, said Cheng Yongxin, 33, a public servant in Taiyuan.

Suspects should be detained according to laws rather than local regulations, said Li Weimin, a lawyer and director of the Beijing Weibo Law Firm.

"Legal measures are not the only way of dealing with such cases. We should also enhance education among citizens and raise their awareness," Li said.

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