China says about 44,000 ancient ruins, temples and other cultural sites have disappeared.
That’s the conclusion of the country’s first heritage census for more than 20 years.
About a quarter of the sites that remain are in a poor state of repair.
Explaining the results, an official quoted by Chinese state media said many such sites were unprotected and had been demolished to make way for construction projects.
The census, carried out by China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, recorded the registration of 700,000 heritage sites.
Liu Xiaohe, deputy director of the survey, told state media that economic construction was the most important reason for the damage to cultural relics.