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Cities need space for art, say forum speakers

Updated: 2013-10-23 16:53
By Sun Yuanqing (

The first Beijing Forum for Arts and City concluded at the Dadu Museum in Beijing on Wednesday. Themed "Nurturing Creative Space in the City", the forum explored how cities could be revitalized by expanding and preserving their spaces for art and creativity.

"Art can not thrive without space, and space won't be enjoyable without art. We are now seeing a huge lack of public spaces and spaces for art in China," says Lu Di, host of the forum and professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at Peking University.

A total of 17 international academics and artists shared their practices and proposals at the forum.

Knud Larsen, architect and a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, shared his experience of recording the townscape and architectures of Lhasa, which are being rapidly replaced by modern buildings. He also brought international students to Lhasa and taught them how to integrate modern architecture into the historic buildings there to extend the life of ethnic buildings.

Tomislav Sladojevic Sola, professor at the University of Zagreb, put forward his proposal to build spaces of love, namely the Global Love Museums, in cities around the world as a new niche of tourism.

"Museums of new and unexpected kinds are very much 'in'. Love will be in demand and without it we will perish," Sola says.

The forum is sponsored by the Beijing municipal government and UNESCO, and is part of the first UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit.

"We will have to look at the soft aspect of life, aside from GDP and foreign reserves as we pursue urban regeneration," says Abhimanyu Singh, director of the UNESCO Beijing office.

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