Outstanding individuals and organizations were given national awards honoring their contributions to the preservation of historical heritage sites related to the revolutionary period, commemorating this year as the 70th anniversary of founding of New China.

The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation bestowed such awards to 10 people and 10 organizations or institutions on Saturday in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

Li Xiaojie, director of the foundation, said, "The event is to keep the people's belief lasting and gain new strength for the red spirit."

Among the awardees was Deng Gang, a 90-year-old man from Maoming, Guangdong province, who has spent years collecting cultural relics marking the Communist revolution from the 1920s to the 1940s. He has also written books and appeared on TV programs promoting its culture.

Another man from Yunnan province, Pan Tinghong, spent 31 years traveling across 50 counties in seven provinces where the Red Army passed through during the Long March of the 1930s, collecting over 600,000 artifacts of that history.

Zhang Jingxian, a civil servant, is trying to find the roots of 136 unnamed soldiers buried in a cemetery in Heze, Shandong province. They lost their lives on the battlefield during the Civil War from 1946 to 1949. And Zhou Yin, a Hangzhou native, launched a public fundraiser to establish museums on the local people's fight against invaders during the War Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45).

Other awardees included a group of museum employees dedicated to preserving oral histories related to the Huaihai Campaign (1948-49) during the Civil War, conservators from the National Museum of China restoring revolutionary leaders' manuscripts, including those of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and lectures publicizing old stories relevant to revolutionaries.

This is the 11th edition of the awards ceremony, which is held annually by the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation. A different theme is chosen each year to honor those with special contributions to the protection of Chinese cultural heritage.