(Yicai Global) Nov. 23 -- China has opened up a cultural relics data platform to publicize information about lost or stolen artifacts in a bid to help locate them through social support. The platform will also be linked to Interpol’s database, Jiemian News reported.
The Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage have agreed to sponsor the program. To date, the departments have collected more than 2,000 pieces of information about cultural relics from over 19 provinces, 180 of which they have published on the platform. More information about the artifacts will be publicized in batches so the public can report directly through the platform if they become aware of information about any valuable Chinese cultural items.
The platform will also integrate with Interpol’s stolen artworks database to enhance cooperation between international law enforcement agencies. It will also make it much easier for China to recover lost artifacts, which was not the case previously.
Since 1840, more than 10 million cultural relics have been lost abroad, according to China Cultural Relics Academy. Some 1.64 million are scattered across 47 museums around the world, according to UNESCO, with more than 10 times that are in private collections.
Some 180 of the relics publicized were lost from local cultural management bureaus or museums in Ningxia, Shaanxi, Henan, Jiangsu and Shandong in the 1980s, 1990s and early 21st century, according to Jiemian News. Artifacts from the Tang Dynasty make up the majority at 30 percent of the total, followed by the Western Han Dynasty and Ming Dynasty.