A side event of the ongoing 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was held in Fuzhou, east China's Fujian province on July 18.
The event, themed on the Conservation and Research of Maritime Silk Road Heritage, was sponsored by China's National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) and attended by Song Xinchao, the Deputy Director of NCHA, and important guests from home and abroad.
Song pointed out at the meeting that in recent years, China has achieved positive results in the protection, research, demonstration, and international exchanges regarding the Maritime Silk Road heritage.
China will deepen its cooperation with international organizations including UNESCO and countries along the Maritime Silk Road (MSR), to better protect heritages of the ancient sea route.
Teresa Patrício, president of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), said that, to inscribe Maritime Silk Road heritage onto the world heritage list, a temporal and spatial framework should be established to define the attributes of outstanding universal value of each heritage site and to demonstrate the evolving relations between these sites over the course of time.
ICOMOS would love to contribute its part to develop a more inclusive and sustainable version of The Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, she noted.
Chai Xiaoming, Dean of the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, said that his organization will provide technical support for the protection and research of the Maritime Silk Road heritage under the guidance of the National Cultural Heritage Administration.
Tim Williams, professor of the Institute of Archaeology of University College London(UCL), suggested attendees focus on the research on anthropology, religion and seamanship around ports from the perspective of cross-region interaction.
Liu Xiaoming, chief engineer of the Guangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Film and Tourism, emphasized the city's commitment to implement the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the development plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
He also said that Guangzhou will seize the opportunity of development and make greater efforts to protect cultural heritages along the Maritime Silk Road.
Tim Winter, professor with the School of Social Sciences of the University of Western Australia, explored with the audience the role of Maritime Silk Road in connecting different cultures and facilitating international exchanges of technologies and ideas.
He proposed that China should take the BRI as an opportunity to offer more chances for cooperation and play a leading role in enhancing the connectivity between nations.
The side event of the World Heritage Committee session was an important activity for international academic exchanges. China will join hands with other countries to promote conservation of heritage sites along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and improve the system for the exchanges and cooperation between countries regarding cultural heritage preservation.