A hotel will be built near the site of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang, the first emperor of China, in Xi'an, Shaanxi province. However, the hotel's location is not in the protection area of the mausoleum, an official with the provincial cultural heritage administration said on Thursday, chinanews.com reported.
The response came after media reports drew widespread attention to the construction project near the key cultural relic under state protection.
In a statement issued to Shaanxi cultural heritage authorities on Oct 14, the National Cultural Heritage Administration agreed in principle to the construction of the hotel project within the construction control zone of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang.
The official with the Shaanxi cultural heritage administration explained that in principle no construction shall be conducted within the areas of protection for a cultural site.
In construction control zones, however, after gaining approval from the appropriate administrative department for cultural relics, construction may be conducted. The design of the construction project, such as height, size and color, should also match up with the cultural relic site.
Shaanxi provincial government delimited the protection area and construction control zone of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qinshihuang in 2010. The planned hotel will be built within the construction control zone, not the key protection area. The design of the construction project has met relevant requirements of the construction control zone, the official said.
An archaeological investigation was carried out in the construction area of the hotel and no cultural relics related to the mausoleum have been found buried underground. The construction will not impact the safety of the cultural relics in the mausoleum site, the official added.