China limits tourist numbers to protect World Cultural Heritage site in central province

20:00, August 20, 2010      

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Local cultural heritage officials in central China's Henan Province said Friday they will limit tourist numbers during peak travel times to better protect the World Cultural Heritage-listed Historic Monuments of Dengfeng.

"We have taken measures to restrict the number of tourists and the burning of incense," said Gong Songtao, deputy director of the administration of cultural heritage in Dengfeng City.

Nestled in the Songshan Mountains, the "Center of Heaven and Earth" is composed of eight clusters of 11 buildings and sites, including the Shaolin Monastery, the Three Han Que Gates, the Observatory, the Songyang Academy and the Songyue Pagoda.

"Carbon dioxide and humidity levels are also being strictly monitored since high concentrations of those chemicals may damage the structures," said Gong.

"Tourists will be encouraged to visit other sites when the numbers at one site approach their limit," said Gong.

The Three Han Que Gates and the Ancestor's Monastery will remain closed to ordinary tourists as they have been for the last six decades, added Gong.

"Que," located at the side of a road, is an entry sign to a city, palace, temple, pass or tomb.

The Three Han Que Gates, made of stone and adorned with calligraphy and carvings, can be dated back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.).

The Historic Monuments of Dengfeng were added to the World Cultural Heritage List during the 34th session of the World Heritage Committee on Aug.1 in Brasilia, Brazil.

UNESCO said the monuments stand out for their great aesthetic beauty and their profound cultural importance.

Source: Xinhua


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