Over 50,000 items unearthed in Beijing’s Summer Palace

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Beijing, July 11 (IANS) A massive archaeological excavation underway at Beijing’s Old Summer Palace has uncovered more than 50,000 cultural relics so far, the media reported.

The excavation, which was started in 2013 and will be completed in 2020, is the biggest in the ruins of the palace site so far, and has already covered 7,000 square metres, reports the Global Times.

Bronzeware, jadeware and chinaware were unearthed, and a gilding elephant head is the most precious among all items, according to a statement by the Palace authorities.

All of the excavated relics will be exhibited in the park until October, it said.

The project is aimed at building a visible, three-dimensional platform for archaeological achievements and protecting the remains of the palace.

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The Summer Palace was used as a garden by royalty during the Qing Dynasty and had lush gardens and elaborate architecture, which were set on fire and destroyed, mostly by British and French invading troops during the Second Opium War (1856-1860), the Global Times reported.

A team of nearly 100 people from Beijing’s Tsinghua University has been in charge of restoring 60 per cent of the objects discovered using a virtual reality technique and more than 10,000 historical documents.

“The exhibition of these cultural relics should also instil patriotic feelings among Chinese people, because they can see how glorious our country used to be and how the glory got trampled by invaders,” Tian Lin, Professor of ancient architecture at the Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, told the Global Times.

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