Four questions about the collapse of the city wall of the Ming Qin Palace in Xi'an
Xinhua News Agency, Xi'an, August 9 - Title: Four Questions Area of the Qin palace walls collapses
Xinhua News Agency reporter
On the 8th, part of the walls of the Ming Dynasty King’s Palace of the King of Qin in the southwest corner of the Xincheng Square in the center of Xi’an City collapsed, causing damage to 4 cars and bruises to 4 people. According to the preliminary investigation and judgment by the relevant local authorities, the collapsed part is the newly built protective soil of the original city wall site and the outer brick masonry on the northeast side. The cause of the collapse was the recent continuous heavy rain.
However, a reporter from Xinhua News Agency found out: Why did the protective soil and brick body of the city wall that have been repeatedly repaired for many years seriously damaged before the site itself? Do multiple non-cultural relics less than 10 meters from the site affect the safety of the site? Cracks have appeared in the wall of the city wall during the flood season. Has the competent authority prepared and implemented an emergency plan in accordance with the regulations? How to carry out subsequent risk elimination and repair work? These questions are to be answered clearly by the local authorities.
Follow-up question 1: Why did the protective soil and brick body of the city wall be seriously damaged before the site itself? Has the project quality passed?
The reporter learned that King Qin Mansion was the residence of King Ming Dynasty. It was built during the Hongwu period of the Ming Dynasty. It has a history of about 600 years and was listed as the fourth batch of cultural relics protection units in Shaanxi Province in 2003.
Chen Ping, a member of the on-site expert group and a professor at Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology, said that in the previous restoration project, protective soil and outer bricks were added to the outer layer to protect the exposed Ming Dynasty rammed soil. After the on-site survey, the expert team determined that the collapsed part was the newly built protective soil body of the original city wall site and the outer brick masonry on the northeast side, which did not damage the original Ming Dynasty city wall rammed earth. The expert group believes that the recent continuous heavy rain in Xi'an has caused rainwater to seep, soaking the loess in the wall to produce lateral pressure and squeezing the wall to the outside, causing the wall to collapse.
However, the reporter learned that from 2007 to 2011, the remaining walls of the Ming Qin Palace were filled and reinforced with bricks and rammed earth. In the past ten years, the walls have also undergone many repairs. Among the many open-air relics in Xi'an that are similar to its era, this time it was the only one that fell in the rain.
The relevant person in charge of the Department of Cultural Relics Protection and Archaeology of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage stated that the ancient building renovation project has its particularity, pertinence and uncertainty. In recent years, in order to further strengthen the management of repair projects and improve the quality of repair projects, the competent authority has issued a number of normative documents based on the "Administrative Measures for Cultural Relics Protection Projects." The reporter found that some of the contents of the relevant documents did require the construction design of the restoration of cultural relics in terms of flood control and drainage.
Are there any deficiencies in the design structure specification of the city wall repair project? Has the project quality passed? The reporter contacted the Xi'an Cultural Relics Bureau, which did not provide any explanation.
Follow-up question 2: Will the multiple non-cultural buildings adjacent to the city wall increase safety risks?
The reporter found that there were many hotels, office buildings and other buildings on the south side of Ming Qin Palace, some of which were less than ten meters away from the wall. Experts said that the "Regulations on the Protection of Immovable Cultural Relics of Xi'an City" and other regulations have strict regulations on buildings within the protection scope of cultural protection units and adjacent to cultural protection units, in order to avoid increasing protection risks.
The Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Cultural Relics told reporters that these buildings existed before the site was included in the fourth batch of cultural relics protection units in Shaanxi Province in 2003, and they are historical issues.
Chen Ping said that after the on-site investigation and judgment by experts, it is believed that surrounding buildings will not adversely affect the safety of this section of the site.
Follow-up question 3: Cracks have appeared in the wall of the city wall during the flood season. Are the emergency measures of the competent authority adequate?
The reporter learned at the scene that the local cultural relics department had previously discovered cracks in the walls of the city wall, and in early August pulled up an isolation belt on the north side of the city wall to prohibit pedestrians from entering the sidewalk under the city wall. The reporter learned from Mr. Zhou, a citizen living near the city wall, that it is not the first time that this section of the city wall has cracks. In the summer of last year, cracks occurred due to rain washing, and repairs were carried out.
The "Regulations on the Protection of Cultural Relics of Shaanxi Province" require cultural relics administrative departments at or above the county level to formulate precautionary plans for major cultural relics safety accidents and implement relevant safety protection measures. The relevant person in charge of the Department of Cultural Relics Protection and Archaeology of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage also told reporters that the competent authority requires that relevant construction projects be implemented and follow-up operations to formulate emergency plans, conduct safety assessments, and take protective measures to ensure the safety of ancient buildings.
The Xi'an Cultural Relics Bureau told reporters that the provinces, cities, and districts have made arrangements for the safety of cultural relics during the flood season, put forward work requirements, and conducted supervision and inspection. In connection with the restoration and protection of the masonry section of the Ming Qin Palace’s city wall that collapsed, the local cultural relics department of the new urban area has arranged for temporary protection in the early stage. Rain sheds, drainage ditches and isolation facilities have been set up on the top of the city wall.
However, the relevant persons in charge of the Xi'an Cultural Relics Bureau and other departments did not reply to the reporter's questions such as "whether a major cultural relics safety accident prevention plan has been prepared in accordance with regulations?"
Some cultural protection experts believe that in the face of repeated damage signals on the wall and obvious disaster environment, only measures such as setting up canopies and adding drainage ditches were taken, and no protective measures were taken for places with obvious hidden dangers.
Follow-up question 4: How should the follow-up work on risk removal and repair of cultural relics start?
The relevant person in charge of the Department of Cultural Relics Protection and Archaeology of the State Administration of Cultural Relics stated that the State Administration of Cultural Relics requires cultural relics departments of all regions to discover hidden dangers in ancient buildings in time and prepare emergency plans in advance. For ancient buildings in danger, on the one hand, relevant measures must be taken to ensure the safety of personnel; on the other hand, rescue plans for ancient buildings must be prepared to eliminate cultural relics in time.
It is understood that the Xi'an cultural relics department has organized an expert group on the 8th to conduct survey and consultation to strengthen and restore the protection layer of the relevant city wall. According to the opinions of the expert group, after clearing the collapsed soil and blocks in the collapsed area on the north side, the corresponding protective masonry in the collapsed area will be partially unloaded, the seepage range and depth will be investigated, and the demolished parts will be temporarily protected from rain, Protective measures. Wang Xiaoyong, a cultural expert from the Shaanxi Academy of Social Sciences, believes that building materials, traditional crafts and repair procedures used in ancient times should be used to repair the walls of the Ming and Qin Palaces to solve the technical problems of drainage, seepage, and pressure on cultural relics. At the same time, Xi'an has begun a comprehensive risk investigation of the city's cultural relics protection units.
Song Xinchao, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, previously said in an interview with reporters on the safety of cultural relics during the flood season that at present, in some places, the disaster prevention and mitigation measures in the restoration of cultural relics lack targeted guidance, and the disaster prevention and relief functions of many cultural relics themselves have not yet been fully utilized. The disaster prevention and mitigation work of some local cultural relics has not received due attention, and the disaster prevention and mitigation of cultural relics has not been included as an important and special content in the local natural geological disaster monitoring and early warning and disaster prevention and mitigation system. At the same time, the construction of the grassroots cultural relics departments and cultural relics protection and management organizations is weak, and the staff is generally insufficient.
The reporter learned that in 2019, the functions of the Xi'an Cultural Relics Bureau were merged into the Municipal Culture and Tourism Bureau, and it was not reorganized until the first half of this year. At present, the official website is still not online, and relevant information about its investment in cultural relics protection and repair cannot be found.
Wan Jinhong, a senior engineer of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, suggested that with the help of the Internet, cloud computing, blockchain, geographic information system and big data analysis, an online and offline monitoring system for cultural relics disaster risks should be established to form immovable cultural relics disaster risks. The thematic database, the development of cultural relic disaster risk assessment system and expert diagnosis system, and the establishment of an online risk diagnosis cloud support platform, thereby improving the overall cultural relic disaster risk management and control level.
Song Xinchao said that it is necessary to strengthen the risk assessment of cultural relics disasters, and take building reinforcement, earthquake prevention, seepage prevention, flood discharge and other cultural relics disaster prevention and disaster prevention measures as the content of cultural relics to be considered, designed and implemented simultaneously. We will improve a series of emergency response procedures and measures such as monitoring and early warning of cultural relics disasters and dangers, risk assessment and judgment, disaster prevention, disaster handling, information reporting, and post-disaster repairs and repairs, and carry out emergency training and drills to effectively enhance the ability of cultural relics to handle emergency response. Increase investment. The central government and governments at all levels set up special funds for disaster prevention and mitigation of cultural relics to enhance disaster resistance and disaster relief guarantees for cultural relics. (Reporters Yang Yimiao, Shi Yucen, Li Hua, Wu Hongbo)