Simona Novaretti

Open access

"Collect gold in times of trouble, collect jade in good times": private market, public engagement and the protection of cultural property in the People's Republic of China

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Chinese law; Cultural property protection; Public engagement; Private market.

"Realizing the Chinese dream of the nation's great rejuvenation" has become, since its first mention by President Xi Jinping, in November 2012, the new "political manifesto" for the Party and the Nation, in the PRC. Deeply rooted in Chinese understanding of history, the concept has necessary had impact also on the politics about cultural relics. Do non-governmental actors have a role in this process? What legal tools, if any, can be used to this end? In this paper, I will analyze the ways in which, in the last few years, the relationship between public institutions and the private sector has been shaped, concerning the protection of cultural relics. In particular, I will try to understand to what extent the creation of a licit cultural market has been helping the Chinese government to keep track, recover and protect antiquities, and whether the Chinese legal system supports private collecting "in the public interest", in order to preserve its enormous cultural property.

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