BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The preservation of cultural relics in China faces long-term challenges from illegal excavations and fires, the cultural heritage authority said Friday.
According to figures released by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, last year there were 137 reported security incidents related to cultural relics, including 103 illegal excavations, 14 fires and 12 thefts or robberies.
The administration highlighted illegal excavations at the Eastern Qing Tombs in north China's Hebei Province and a series of armed robberies at sites in Anhui, Hubei and Shaanxi provinces.
Lessons learned from the crimes should enhance the management and protection of relics, the administration said, adding that protection of the Great Wall should be strengthened based on findings of an inspection last year.
China is home to more than 760,000 registered immovable cultural relics and over 108 million moveable cultural artifacts.