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February 15, 2011

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Historic homes to be assessed

CITY housing officials are to assess more than 150 homes where famous Shanghai residents once lived to see which merit protection.

This follows a survey by a city advisory body that reported that 155 historically significant homes in the city are currently unprotected.

Occupants over the past 200 or so years include influential politicians, industrial tycoons, scholars, artists and writers. Some of their former homes are now in a dilapidated state.

Experts will consider a building's architectural and historical importance in deciding whether to include it in the current historic building protection list, the city housing authority said.

"We will continue ongoing appraisal work and consider these buildings case by case on historic and artistic grounds," said Yu Sijia, the chief engineer with the housing bureau yesterday.

The two-year-long investigation catalogued the homes of 354 famous residents, of which 199 were protected.

But housing bureau officials told Shanghai Daily the actual number is much higher, though questioned whether some merited official protection. They said they once mapped out more than 1,000 such buildings. "Not all are worthy of government preservation," Yu said.


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