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Experts hope Cantonese opera be world heritage
Updated: 2005-02-27 14:39

Cantonese opera experts in Hong Kong expressed their hope that the opera could be successfully included in the world heritage list.

According to Sunday's South China Morning Post, the Chinese arts research institute of the Ministry of Culture is now studying a joint submission from Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong, with a view to presenting the art form to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for consideration in the 2007 listing.

Chinese cultural officials this month visited Guangzhou Bureau of Culture, which is overseeing the bid, to get more information on supporting the application.

Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong announced in November 2002 that they would join forces to work on a recommendation. If approved by UNESCO, the three places will be obliged to instigate a policy aimed at preserving the traditional opera.

Kunqu opera, the oldest form of Chinese folk opera, and the guqin, a seven-stringed zither, have already been given world heritage status.

The selection criteria includes the art form's creativity, cultural roots and the danger of disappearing either through a lack of safeguards or processes of rapid change.

Veteran Cantonese opera performer Chan Kim-sing, chairman of the Chinese Artist's Association of Hong Kong, said she hoped the bid would be successful as the opera represented a part of the city's culture.

Chan said more venues should be built in Hong Kong for performance and training of the opera.

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