A Chinese historian urged wider society to join in cultural preservation efforts on Tuesday after a non-governmental organization donated 100 gold bricks and 100 pieces of gold foil for repairs to the Forbidden City.
Donated by the Tai Hu World Cultural Forum, the bricks, foil and other materials will aid the repair and preservation of key buildings as well as protect their values, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Founded in 2008, Tai Hu is a national non-governmental organization that promotes the development of Chinese culture and cross-cultural communications between China and foreign countries, according to its website introduction.
The Forbidden City's Palace Museum director Shan Jixiang said at the donation ceremony on Monday that the donation was "a gift for the future" that would preserve key parts of the World Heritage site for another 600 years, Xinhua reported.
In an effort to secure the condition of all the buildings by 2020, the museum has launched repair programs, Xinhua said.
Every heritage building in the Forbidden City is unique, Shan was cited by Xinhua as saying, and they needed to dig into the information of different times to preserve the masonry and craftsmanship without altering the original state.
As a unique representative of Chinese civilization and a treasured possession of the Chinese people, the Forbidden City needs to be better preserved and protected, said Li Mingde, a former vice president of the Beijing Tourism Society.
There were, however, many obstacles, he warned.
All the historical relics must be repaired with original materials and restored to their initial status, which not only places high standards on craftspeople but also on materials, he said.
"Aside from government efforts, more social groups, including enterprises and individuals could also play active parts in protecting our treasured possession," Li said.
Two companies from Suzhou and Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu Province produced the gold bricks and gold foils, Xinhua reported.
Enterprises whose products meet the high standards for repairing historical relics could earn fame for their quality workmanship and also have their name remembered in history, Li said.