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Puzzlement hits 10 historic Chinese towers' road to World Cultural Heritage (2)

(People's Daily Online)

08:27, November 12, 2012

For example, West Lake in Hangzhou had been implementing free tickets since 2002 until it was included into the List of World Heritage in 2011 and started to charge for tickets again. Therefore, Hangzhou gave up a ticket and obtained the prosperity of the tertiary industry in exchange, said Gu.

Rational heritage application and shifting of thinking modes

Shan Jixiang, president of the National Palace Museum said the fundamental purpose of application for inclusion as World Heritage is to strengthen the protection of the heritage. But the awareness of world cultural heritage protection is weak in China, and it is a relatively universal phenomenon that we attach importance to application and development but make little account of protection and management. There is always a tendency for the world cultural heritage sites to give way to commerce, artificial modification, and urbanization.

Shan said that some places invested heavily for heritage application without hesitation only for the purpose of getting the golden signboard as the world's cultural heritage and then uses it to increase tourism income. Thus, after the application succeeds, the heritage is subject to overload utilization and even destructive exploitation.

The Chinese government is now aware of the lack of protection on the World Heritage, and is trying to explore ways for improvement. For example, the central government has set up special funds for the protection on World Heritage; and the National Development and Reform Commission has increased the special investment in protection facilities of major national heritages.

Read the Chinese version: 十大名楼申遗计划搁浅

Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Pan Xutao.

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