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State Administration of Cultural Heritage
Guójiā wénwù jú
Agency overview
Formed 2003
Superseding agency State Bureau of Cultural Relics
Jurisdiction  People's Republic of China
Headquarters Beijing
Minister responsible Cai Wu, Culture
Agency executive Shan Jixiang, Director
Parent agency Ministry of Culture

State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH; Chinese: 国家文物局 Pinyin: Guójiā wénwù jú) is an administrative agency subordinate to the Ministry of Culture. It is responsible for relics and managing museums on mainland China. This include regulating the development of museums and protecting and saving cultural relics of national interests.[1][2]



After the Chinese civil war, the State Bureau of Cultural Relics was established to protect and save relics, archaeological sites and development of museums. There was a period of internal political turmoil which the agency languished. It was not until in 1973, the State Cultural Relics Enterprises Management Bureau was established to oversee the protection of cultural heritage. In 1988, State Bureau of Cultural Relics (SBCR) was established under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture to be the encompassing agency for conservation of Chinese culture and heritage. [3]

The agency is responsible for over 400,000 registered sites of unmovable cultural relics on mainland China. This include important unmovable cultural relics which are identified as archaeological and cultural sites under the protection of county, provincial, municipal or national authorities. Currently, there are 2352 sites under the national protection, 9396 sites under the protection of provincial governments and 58,300 sites under the protection of county or municipal authorities. In addition 103 cities are designated as Historically and Culturally Famous City.[4]

It is claimed approximately 1.67 million relics which were illegally obtained through conflicts and looting are now in over 2000 museums in 47 countries. [5] The agency is pursuing the repatriation of these items via political, diplomatic and international conventions.

Recently, the auction house, Christie's sold bronze rabbit and rat's head for 15.7 million euros despite attempts by the agency and the Chinese government to block the sale and seek for their return. [6]


The State Bureau of Cultural Relics is organised into the following departments.[7]

  • General Office (Department of Personnel)
  • Relics Protection Department
  • Department of Museums


External links



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