80,000 bricks from Nanjing city wall retrieved
2017-11-29 16:24:00

Some 80,000 missing bricks from the Nanjing city wall that date back to the ancient Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) have been retrieved.

For various reasons, many bricks from the city wall became scattered among the public. Inscriptions on the bricks reflect a rigorous responsibility system and workmanship, a strict process then that ensured the high quality of the bricks and the endurance of the city wall for 650 years.

To retrieve those valuable cultural relics, the Nanjing City Wall Protection & Management Center launched a brick retrieval campaign in November 2016 and since then has taken back about 80,000 bricks. Many who returned the bricks shared touching stories.

Ninety-year old Xie Zhuru provided a number of bricks to the protection center, partly because of her fondness for the city wall and partly because she wished to fulfill her late husband's wish.

Xie is the widow of Li Lian, who was a professor in the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University. Professor Li witnessed the liberation and changes of Nanjing because of his work, and always paid close attention to cultural relic protection.

Many years ago, Xie saw scattered bricks from a portion of the demolished city wall near Houzaimen. She asked why that section of the more than 600-year-old wall was torn down and was told "a farm produce market will be built here".

When Xie told Li about this he became very angry and asked her to bring back some bricks for fear that they would be lost forever. Xie exclaimed, "that would be stealing!" Li responded, "Then steal". So Xie secretly took some bricks back and has kept them all these years. Hearing about the city wall brick retrieval campaign, she immediately gave her bricks to the Nanjing City Wall Protection & Management Center.

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Source:jschina.com.cn Editor:Amanda