Friday, December 30, 2011

World Heritage in China

More than 25 percent of heritage sites in China are in "poor" and "relatively poor" condition, a five-year census on the country's fixed cultural heritage has found.

About 17.77 percent of the country's cultural relics are in relatively poor preserved condition and 8.43 percent are preserved in poor condition, Shan Jixiang, director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said Thursday, citing census results.

The census, the third and the largest since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, saw the registration of 766,722 fixed cultural relics, including those located underground and underwater. A total of 536,001 were newly registered.

"(These results) have raised higher requirements for our country's cultural relics management, protection, scientific research and utilization," Shan said.

Shan added that related laws and regulations should be improved and public awareness should be boosted, while increasing protection investments as well as strengthening the preservation abilities of cultural heritage institutes.

The census, which cost 1.5 billion yuan (237 million U.S. dollars) and involved about 50,000 workers, recorded basic information of all fixed ancient sites.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.

Up to Now, 40 noteworthy Chinese properties were inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritages List. Among which, 29 were inscribed as World Cultural Heritage Sites, while 7 were inscribed as World Natural Heritage Sites, and 4 were inscribed as both Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites. 

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