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Cave ruins deemed cultural asset will be confiscated

Date Posted: 2008-10-03

A cave containing human bones and earthenware dating back 32,000 years is being taken away from the land owner because he’s damaging the artifacts.

Naha City and the Naha City board of Education have been working with the land owner in the Yamashita section of the city, trying to preserve and protect the assets for more than ten years, while at the same time trying to raise funds to purchase the ‘Yamashita Town Area First Cave Ruin”. The uncooperative land owner has been causing damage to the site, and has blocked prefecture staff from entering the cave.

Fearing irreversible damage in the cave, which has already been designated a cultural asset by Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City will exercise its right to forcibly confiscate the land in order to protect the site. Officials say the owner had initially allowed researchers in the cave, but that has changed. Police and fire officials have also tried reasoning with the man, who placed barricades in front of the cave ruins.

Naha City is still asking the land owner to permit Board of Education researchers inside the cave, but he refuses, saying “I have problems with my neighbor because of the boundary line of the cave, so I can’t let you go inside.”

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