University protects old town areas
One of Shanghai's top universities is planning the establishment of an old town architecture protection centre, with backing from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The staff at Tongji University revealed the plan to the public Wednesday during a visit by Koichior Matsuura, director-general of UNESCO.
According to Tongji University's professors, the centre will nurture professionals who are majoring in the protection, preservation and renovation of architectural heritage around China.
After the centre is established, it will conduct exchanges with similar institutions at other universities that specialize in cultural heritage studies, such as Columbia University in the United States and the Technical University in of Germany.
Huang Aijiao, a Tongji University professor, said: "Tongji University has been playing an important role in preserving buildings with high historical and cultural values."
Professors and students at the university have been working on projects to protect and renovate buildings in the Bund and Yuyuan areas.
In his speech to the professors and students at the university, Matsuura praised their efforts in protecting Shanghai's cultural heritage.
He also pointed out that preserving the cultural heritage of China as well as in other countries was very important, especially now as they face greater challenges from globalization.
"In the area of cultural heritage, our priorities have been the protection of cultural diversity, and the promotion of cultural pluralism and intercultural dialogue," Matsuura said.
He also said a new convention on cultural diversity, which would be devoted to cultural content and artistic expression, was being prepared.
A draft will be presented to the 33rd session of UNESCO's General Conference in 2005 for consideration.