Asteroid named after archaeologist and PKU alum Fan Jinshi
Jul 13, 2023
Peking University, July 13, 2023: On July 10, Asteroid 381323, discovered by the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was named “the Star of Fan Jinshi” with the approval of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group for Small Bodies Nomenclature.
Official certification of “the Star of Fan Jinshi”
Fan Jinshi is a renowned archaeologist who has devoted her life to researching, preserving and promoting Dunhuang cultural heritage. She is currently honorary president of the Dunhuang Academy, after six decades of working on cultural relic research in Dunhuang, a historic city in northwestern China's Gansu Province, earning her the nickname “Daughter of Dunhuang.”
In 1987, the Mogao Caves were among the first batch of UNESCO World Heritage Sites approved in China, the application materials for which were all handwritten by Fan. Later, she spearheaded the promulgation of legislation protecting the cultural heritage site, and further went on to build the “Digital Dunhuang” database, to immortalize information on Dunhuang’s ancient caves and to bring Dunhuang to the world through modern technology. These achievements capture only a fraction of her 60-year legacy.
In May 2023, on the occasion of PKU’s 125th anniversary, Fan donated 10 million yuan, approximately 1.45 million USD, to Peking University to promote its Dunhuang studies and establish the Fan Jinshi Education Fund. During the asteroid’s naming ceremony, Fan donated another 10 million yuan to the China Dunhuang Grottoes Conservation Research Foundation, to support the protection, research and promotion of Dunhuang caves, and the cultivation of much-needed talents.
The funds contributed includes prize money Fan was awarded for winning the Lui Che Woo Prize in 2019 and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Achievements in 2020, as well as her hard-earned savings. “A person should not only think for themselves, this prize money should be earned justly, and more so spent justly; we must ensure that prize money is used to benefit the development of society,” said Fan, while expressing her commitment to continue serving Dunhuang.
Read also: Alum Fan Jinshi donates 1.45 mln USD to support Dunhuang studies
Written by: Chan Zi Qing
Edited by: Dennis Meng
Source: CCTV News, China Daily