Over 50,000 items unearthed in Beijing's Summer Palace

Beijing, July 11  (IANS) A massive archaeological  excavation underway at Beijing's Old Summer Palace has uncovered more  than 50,000 cultural relics so far, the media reported.The  excavation, which was started in 2013 and will be completed in 2020, is  the biggest in the ruins of the palace site so far, and has already  covered 7,000 square metres, reports the Global Times.  Bronzeware,  jadeware and chinaware were unearthed, and a gilding elephant head is  the most precious among all items, according to a statement by the  Palace authorities.All of the excavated relics will be exhibited in the park until October, it said.The  project is aimed at building a visible, three-dimensional platform for  archaeological achievements and protecting the remains of the palace.The  Summer Palace was used as a garden by royalty during the Qing Dynasty  and had lush gardens and elaborate architecture, which were set on fire  and destroyed, mostly by British and French invading troops during the  Second Opium War (1856-1860), the Global Times reported.A team  of nearly 100 people from Beijing's Tsinghua University has been in  charge of restoring 60 per cent of the objects discovered using a  virtual reality technique and more than 10,000 historical documents."The  exhibition of these cultural relics should also instil patriotic  feelings among Chinese people, because they can see how glorious our  country used to be and how the glory got trampled by invaders," Tian  Lin, Professor of ancient architecture at the Beijing University of  Civil Engineering and Architecture, told the Global Times.