A temple of Lord Guan in Beijing's Xiangshan area. [Photo provided to China Daily] A charity fund for better protection of cultural heritage related to Guan Yu was launched on Dec 26 in Beijing by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation, which is supervised by the National Cultural Heritage Administration. Guan Yu, the third century AD general in the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and Three Kingdoms period (220-280), was an iconic figure in Chinese history, renowned for his bravery and loyalty. He is worshipped throughout as Lord Guan in folk belief and has a wide influence not only in China but also in the overseas Chinese community. Temples of Lord Guan, for example, are widely seen at home and abroad. This is the first charity fund in China that is fully dedicated to relics on Guan Yu. Worshipping Guan Yu as a deity has been an important folk belief in China throughout history. [Photo provided to China Daily] According to Ma Zhongxue, the chairman in charge of the new fund, the program will cover a variety of cultural relics related to Guan Yu, including temples, stone carvings, paintings and statues. And intangible cultural heritage related to the hero, such as traditional folk operas, martial arts and acrobatics, will also be involved. The fund will be used to improve the conservation and renovation of the relics and related academic research and call for the public to join in the efforts. The first symposium on Guan Yu, which was organized by the foundation, was also held in Beijing on Dec 26.