China will encourage more non-profit funds to protect cultural relics, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) announced on Wednesday.
China has spent 60 billion yuan (9.3 billion U.S.dollars) on protecting cultural relics during the past five years, said Zhu Xiaodong, director of policy and law department of the SACH.
The money went to more than 10,000 projects but did not cover privately owned cultural items, said Zhu.
Though cultural relics held as private property are included in the government programs, a lack of proper funding has left privately owned relics basically unprotected.
Zhu said the SACH will help establish non-profit cultural heritage funds with the help of the Ministry of Finance, to channel in both state subsidies and private capital for cultural relic protection.
China's traditional villages are in most urgent need of protection, said Zhu. Among the 11,000 registered cultural relics in these 2,555 villages, 6,600 are in the possession of private owners.
With the help of non-profit funds, the SACH can encourage and stimulate private owners to take tangible action to protect their relics, Zhu said.