Beijing: The Chinese government has barred any kind of commercial activity at the country`s historical sites as a measure to prevent any threat to the safety of cultural relics.
The regulation came after a nationwide investigation into luxury clubs run by public museums and other cultural heritage institutions.
The public voiced fierce criticism, following the discovery of an exclusive club in the Forbidden City`s Jianfu Palace, where membership is reported to cost 1 million yuan (USD 156,600).
The government ordered its public museums and cultural heritage institutions to halt commercial operations, running contrary to public interests, after an exclusive club was found in the Forbidden City earlier this year, Xinhua reported.
Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH), in a regulation, said commercial operations at historical sites should be aimed at providing better services for the public. They should pose no risk to the safety of cultural relics.
The commercial operations should be approved by cultural heritage protection administrations, it said.
Earlier in the year, the management of a high-end hotel under construction in the world`s largest imperial garden, the Imperial Summer Resort (Summer Mountain Villa) in the city of Chengde in north China`s Hebei province, had attempted to turn the garden into an exclusive club.
The hotel`s attempts were prevented after the local government intervened.