China's cultural relics watchdog on Thursday banned the auction of unearthed, stolen and smuggled cultural relics so to regulate the order of the market.
A circular issued by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage said various levels of cultural relics departments should work with the industry and commerce bureaus and police to deal with unauthorized enterprises that are illegally involved in the auctioning of relics.
Cultural relics that were looted by other countries, stolen or smuggled, should not be auctioned, according to the circular.
Other types of relics that are banned from being auctioned are those that had been confiscated by the government, or owned or stored by government departments, military forces and state-owned enterprises and state relics shops.
Further, those relics, if auctioned, might harm state interests or produce a "bad social influence," are also prohibited from being auctioned, the circular said.
Also on Thursday, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, in cooperation with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, issued a circular to regulate TV programs on the identification of cultural relics.
It said that cultural relics presented in the programs should be legally sanctioned, and any commercial transactions and promotion are banned from the programs.