After five years of preparation, the biggest heritage protection site in southern China has been set up in Hubei Province. The Central Government has invested a total of one hundred million yuan or nearly 17 million US dollars in the project to preserve the Chu culture relics in Jingzhou City.
Jingzhou, in southern Hubei, has a history of over 2700 years. And as capital of the Chu state empire during the Spring and Autumn Period, Jingzhou was residence to 20 kings during Chu’s 400 year history. The old city walls, hundreds of ancient tombs, and other relics can still be found.
Shen Haining, Director of Hubei Culture Heritage Bureau, said, "Jingzhou has long been known as the Cradle of Chu Culture. Historical artifacts throughout the city make it at least as significant as other ancient capitals like Xi’an and Luoyang. "
In 2006, ruins of the Chu palace in Jingzhou were included in a separate major project which had authorities building a comprehensive protection site around the city. The project encompassed three neighboring cities and covered an area of five hundred square kilometers.