NCHA: Discussion on the approaches to the transnational application of the Maritime Silk Roads for World Heritage status
By Wei Yanxing
BEIJING, July 19 (People's Daily) -- On July 18, on the occasion of the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, a side event on the theme of the "Maritime Silk Roads Heritage Research and Conservation" hosted by the National Cultural Heritage Administration(NCHA) was held in Fuzhou. Mr. Song Xinchao, Deputy Director General of the NCHA, Dr. Jing Feng, Chief of the Asia and the Pacific Unit at UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, and Ms. Theresa Patricio, President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), attended the event and delivered speeches.
Mr. Song Xinchao pointed out that in recent years, China has achieved a series of positive results in the protection, research, display and interpretation, and international exchanges of the Maritime Silk Roads heritage. He said that China would continue to strengthen international consultations and cooperation with UNESCO and other international organizations and countries along the Maritime Silk Roads to protect the property jointly, carry out thematic research, discuss cross-border strategies on a joint application for the World Heritage, and jointly protect, inherit and utilize the precious historical and cultural assets of humanity.
Dr. Jing Feng reviewed the "Integral Study of the Silk Roads: Roads of Dialogue" project carried out by UNESCO and the work done for the application of the Silk Roads for the World Heritage initiated with the above project as an opportunity. He believed that this is the result of decades of coordination and joint protection, which set a feasible precedent and encouraged relevant countries to continue to carry out exchanges and cooperation under the framework of the Silk Roads.
Ms. Theresa Patricio said that the application of the Maritime Silk Roads for the World Heritage needs to formulate a time-space framework, strengthen dialogue, respect and understanding, set up an overall strategy, define the contribution to the outstanding universal values of each heritage site and the relationship between each other, and study the relationship between heritage sites in the process of transformation. She pointed out that today's side event marked a significant step forward, and more studies should be carried out under the framework of the Maritime Silk Roads.
Mr. Chai Xiaoming, Director of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage (CACH), stated in his speech that the CACH, as the main professional supporter for the research on the protection of Chinese historical sites along the Maritime Silk Road, will continue to provide good services to the provinces, cities, and heritage sites and further facilitate the relations among them under the guidance of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. It will also offer professional technical support for the protection and research of the Maritime Silk Roads, tell Chinese stories well, and contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
This side event is an important international academic exchange in the field of Maritime Silk Roads protection and research. The protection and research of the Silk Roads is not only the mission of China, but also a common cause of countries along the Maritime Silk Roads. Under the UNESCO "Silk Roads" heritage framework system, China will work together with all countries concerned to carry out joint work under the international multilateral framework to promote the protection of the heritage on the Maritime Silk Roads and build a system for diverse exchanges and cooperation on cultural heritage.