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Antique Market: A Game of Culture & Money


In Beijing, there are dozens of antique markets. It is place for collectors, treasure hunters, and investors. Our reporter Qi Wei pays a visit to one of Beijing's new markets and to see how's the weather for antique and cultural relics.

It seems there can never be too many antique markets in Beijing. Liangma International Jewel and Antique Market houses more than 500 shops, exhibiting and selling jewels and precious stones, porcelains and paintings.

Just two months after it opened, the market already couldn't wait to expand.

Lan Xuechun, Chiarman of Liangma Antique Market, said, "This is now our first stage project, a total area of 33 thousand square meters. We'll have second, third and even fourth stages, building a cultural center for antiques, jewels and luxury products. We see a very promising future."

The market lies in walking distance of the embassy district, surrounded by high-end residential and commercial communities. Land isn't cheap here.

Despite a recent chill in art auctioning in China, investing in antiques and collections is now looking up.

Professional collectors like Chen Xianfeng suggest, although the overall weather for art and antiques is warming up, one should always be cautious in making purchases.

Chen Xianfeng, Private Collector, said, "As I see it, these are just toys for man. It brings visual and spiritual enjoyment. But sometimes men are not wise enough to see this and get played by these toys."

Chen Xianfeng was born and brought up in the Beijing traditional culture. He loves birds and fish, as well as collecting antiques.

The ivory ring in his hand is royal, made in the period of Qianglong, worth millions. He says he only collects what he likes and what he believes is worth passing on.

Mr Gong is well-known in the market, a scholar, a collector and a donor. Most museums in Beijing have cultural relics donated by him. And his face always turns radiant when he passionately talks about his collections.

Mr. Gong, Private Collector, said, "The jade bracelet has five mice on it, derived from the auspicious folklore that it helps bring fortune. In fact, most of our traditional artpieces have their deep meaning and philosophies in their designs. They carry our culture so that can't be measured by money."

Mr Gong is now working on a pamphlet that collects all the hidden meaning in designs of antiques. His motto is sharing is better than owning.

"Very delicate At here, these ancient artpieces are not commodities, but collections that bring people joy and happiness. Through them, people of the same interest make friends and communicate. More importantly, this is where Chinese traditional culture is brought back to life. QI Wei, CCTV, Beijing."

Editor: Shi Liwei