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Intangible cultural heritage to be listed
By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-18 11:26

China is expected to publicize its first national list of "intangible cultural heritage masterpieces" at the beginning of next year, officials said.

Zhou Heping, vice-minister of culture, was speaking at a conference about ethnic and folk culture preservation in Beijing on Friday.

Zhou said the Ministry of Culture has drafted both a guiding document for strengthening protection of "intangible heritage" - which includes music, festivals and folklore - and measures for appraising applicants of the list.

"The two documents are likely to be passed and promulgated at the end of this year," he said. "They will prepare for the publication of the first batch on the national list," he said.

One of the ministry's urgent tasks is to establish a national list as soon as possible, he said.

The ethnic and folk culture preservation project kicked off last year, and a centre was set up at the Chinese Academy of Arts to co-ordinate it.

So far, 39 areas of ethnic and folk arts have been chosen as pilots by the project.

The vice-minister said more than 20 provinces, regions and municipalities have drafted protection schemes and initiated local protection projects.

Some of them have already allocated special funds. Shaanxi Province plans to assign 1 million yuan (US$120,000) each year, and Gansu Province is ready to pour 1.5 million yuan (US$180,700) each year starting from next year into protection.

Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces have allocated 5 million yuan (US$602,000) and 4 million yuan (US$482,000) to local projects.

At the moment, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces in Southwest China have put regulations in force on protecting ethnic and folk culture.

In their footsteps, Fujian Province in East China has also promulgated a protection regulation, to go in force from January 1, 2005.

There will be more works next year.

Zhou said an exhibition showing achievements made in the field will be held in April. An international seminar and a workshop on protecting ethnic and folk culture will also be held next year.

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