China’s First Environmental Public Interest Litigation Case for Protection of Cultural Relics| CBCGDF Sues Magu Village, Henan Province
2023/6/21 16:08:00 本站

Magu Village of Zhengzhou City, Henan Province known as the "No.1 Cultural Relics Ancient Village in the Central Plains" has a history of more than one thousand year. There are a total of 7 ancient buildings in Magu Village included in the third national cultural relics census list of Henan Province. Among them, the Magu Wang Clan Ancestral Hall has been announced as a cultural relic protection unit at the municipal level in Zhengzhou, and the other 6 are all unclassified cultural relics.


In April 2014, in order to cooperate with the construction of the "Smart Electrical Appliances Industrial Park", the whole village of Magu Village was relocated as a whole. In just 20 days, the ancient village covering over 500 mu turned into a piece of loess and ruins. Of the seven immovable cultural relics in the village only the Wang Family Temple and the Magu Guan Yu Temple remained.


Mr. Wang Wenyong, the leader of the Public Interest Litigation Working Group of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), said that immovable cultural relics are indispensable non biological factors in the ecosystem, and destroying immovable cultural relics is damaging the ecological environment.


On September 21, 2015, CBCGDF initiated an environmental public interest lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, due to the demolition of the village committee of Magu Village, and because the people's government of Shangjie District, the people's government of Xiawo Town, and the Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Press and Publication of Shangjie District did not perform their statutory duties of protecting cultural relics, five immovable cultural relics in Magu Village were completely destroyed, damaging the local ecological environment that has been formed for hundreds of years, which seriously harms the public interests and must bear corresponding legal responsibilities.


On October 16th, the Zhengzhou Intermediate People's Court officially issued a notice of acceptance for the case. This case became the first environmental public interest litigation case in Henan province and the first public interest litigation for the protection of cultural relics in China. And it is also the first time that the protection of cultural relics has been included in the scope of environmental public interest litigation in China's judiciary.


On January 13, 2017, this China’s first environmental public interest lawsuit on immovable cultural relics was closed through mediation. CBCGDF reached a settlement agreement with the government of Shangjie District, the Bureau of Culture, Broadcasting, Press and Publication of Shangjie District, the government of Xiawo Town, and the Magu Village Committee, agreeing on the obligations of the four parties to protect the remaining two immovable cultural relics and establish a Magu Culture Exhibition Center in Magu Village.

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Translator: Sara

Checked by: Daisy

Editor: Sara    

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