Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of Cultural Relics
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 This Law is enacted in accordance with the Constitution, with a view to strengthening the protection of cultural relics, inheriting the splendid historical and cultural legacy of the Chinese nation, promoting scientific research, conducting education in patriotism and in the revolutionary tradition, and building a socialist society with cultural, ideological and material progress.
Article 2 The State places under its protection the following cultural relics within the boundaries of the People's Republic of China:
(1) sites of ancient culture, ancient tombs, ancient architectural structures, cave temples, stone carvings and murals that are of historical, artistic or scientific value;
(2) important modern and contemporary historic sites, material objects and typical buildings that are related to major historical events, revolutionary movements or famous personalities and that are highly memorable or are of great significance for education or for the preservation of historical data;
(3) valuable works of art and handicraft articles dating from various historical periods;
(4) important documents dating from various historical periods, and manuscripts, books and materials, etc. that are of historical, artistic or scientific value; and
(5) typical material objects reflecting the social system, social production or the life of various nationalities in different historical periods.
The criteria and measures for the verification of cultural relics shall be formulated by the administrative department for cultural relics under the State Council and submitted to the State Council for approval.
Fossils of paleovertebrates and paleoanthropoids of scientific value shall be protected by the State in the same way as cultural relics.
Article 3 Immovable cultural relics, such as sites of ancient culture, ancient tombs, ancient architectural structures, cave temples, stone carvings and murals as well as important modern and contemporary historic sites and typical buildings, may, depending on their historical, artistic and scientific value, be designated respectively as major sites to be protected for their historical and cultural value at the national level, sites to be protected for their historical and cultural value at the provincial level, and sites to be protected for their historical and cultural value at the city or county level.
Movable cultural relics, such as important material objects, works of art, documents, manuscripts, books, materials, and typical material objects dating from various historical periods, shall be divided into valuable cultural relics and ordinary cultural relics; and the valuable cultural relics shall be subdivided into grade-one cultural relics, grade-two cultural relics and grade-three cultural relics.
Article 4 In the work concerning cultural relics, the principle of giving priority to the protection of cultural relics, attaching primary importance to their rescue, making rational use of them and tightening control over them shall be carried out.