Three Major Measures to Strengthen Chinese Cultural Heritage Conservation
On the expert meeting held in Beijing on December 2nd, 2005, SHAN Jixiang, Director of the State Antique Bureau, pointed out the three major problems and their relative solutions in the conservation of Chinese cultural heritage, in addition to giving a positive evaluation on the significance of Xi'an Declaration.
The three major problems include: firstly, the lack of uniform laws and regulations on the conservation of cultural heritages as well as the surrounding environment results in the difficulty in unifying the concepts and behaviors of the cultural heritage conservation, and in pursuing responsibility for the damages made on cultural heritages, which is reflected obviously on the conservation of the Great Wall; secondly, the conservation planning of ancient cities falls behind severely. It is introduced that there are 138 large ancient city sites among all the important cultural heritage sites all over the country. And so far, only 16 of them have made the conservation plan, which account for 17.6% of the total, while only 46 other locations will have the conservation plan be finished soon. The total percentage of these two parts is less than 50%. Thirdly, there is a trend of attaching more importance to the application while ignoring the management of the cultural heritages. Many regions show great enthusiasm in applying for the world cultural heritage, and once succeed in applying, they begin to develop tourism blindly in the name of "World Cultural Heritage" and pay little attention to the management of the cultural heritage itself.
According to SHAN Jixiang, China will adopt three major measures to solve these three problems:
First of all, to set up and improve the law and regulation system relating to the conservation of cultural heritages and the surrounding environment as soon as possible. During the period of implementing the 11th Five-year plan, the State Antique Bureau will focus on strengthening the implementation of existing laws and regulations and formulating new laws and regulations !o ensure the effectiveness of legal measures in the conservation of culture heritages . For this reason, the State Antique Bureau has set up a new department of policies and regulation.
Secondly, to urge all the regions to formulate the conservation plan for ancient city sites as soon as possible so as to integrate ancient city conservation planning into the overall city planning.
Thirdly, to set up a preparative list of world cultural heritages and to apply for the world cultural heritages strictly ac-cording to the principles, standards and procedures defined by the World Heritages Pact and its implementation rules. The focus should be put on the effectiveness of conservation instead of the enthusiasm of application. The cultural heritage sites will not be qualified to apply for world cultural heritage before carrying out conservation so as to shift the trend of attaching more importance to application than to management.
According to SHAN Jixiang, it is expected that the uniform laws and regulations on the conservation of the Great Wall will be issued in 2006.