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Experts mull using cultural resources to boost international exchanges

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-07 15:21
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The Beijing Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau has striven to tap into the value of the capital's cultural heritage resources in recent years and come up with innovative ways to use historical and cultural sites to deepen international exchanges, said its head Chen Mingjie.

It has explored using the city's classic gardens, distinctive hutong and traditional courtyards and museums as sites for cultural exchange events, and has staged cultural heritage inheritance and innovation competitions involving participants from home and abroad.

The exchanges have played a significant role in advancing civilization, technological innovation, economic prosperity and social development, said Chen Rui, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Chinese Society for Science and Technology Journalism.

The dissemination of technology is an effective way to pool various production and technical resources, Chen Rui said. He called upon relevant parties to establish an international technology dissemination platform that promotes interdisciplinary integration and communication and breaks down barriers between countries and disciplines.

"New horizons for international civilian scientific and technological exchanges should be expanded in a more inclusive and friendly manner," he said.

The idea is to spur innovation with established talent and contribute more to the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity on the basis of openness, trust and cooperation, he said.

Li Li, a researcher from the China Academy of Cultural Heritage, said China has engaged in extensive cooperation and exchanges with countries such as Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and South Korea in recent decades.

These collaborations encompass the protection and research of various cultural relics, talent exchanges, education and training, according to Li.

"The cooperation model has gradually evolved from bilateral to multilateral, and the modes and content of cooperation in the field of cultural heritage have developed in a multilayered and multidirectional manner," Li said.

Over the past decade, the China Academy of Cultural Heritage has completed projects in such fields as architecture, geology, structures, materials and archaeology in countries including Cambodia, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.

Wang Fengrui from the Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute of the China Academy of Railway Sciences, has witnessed how China's restoration efforts abroad have borne fruit. Venturing along the Silk Road, the institute delved into the heartland of Central Asia and participated in the conservation and restoration of some of its World Cultural Heritage sites, Wang said.

Those projects included work on the madrassas (Muslim theological schools) and mosques in Itchan Kala, part of Khiva in Uzbekistan's western Khorezm region.

"In our work, we studied local history, nurtured local artisans and pioneered a collaboration that localized the restoration of religious architecture," Wang said, adding that it has strengthened cultural bonds.

The restoration work in Itchan Kala received high praise from both China and Uzbekistan, Wang said.

Mohamad Taufiqurrohman, editor-in-chief of the Jakarta Post, said legacy media must keep tabs on the day-to-day grind of politics and can expand their role as guardians of history in the realm of arts and culture.

"We now know that the need for quick information results in the circulation of so much fake news, disinformation or half-truths that many influencers, key opinionated leaders and demagogues spread to an unsuspecting audience," he said.

Taufiqurrohman believes journalism is the act of writing rough drafts of history, and discerning editors could use them as arsenal against disinformation.

"All trends will surely pass, and legacy media must keep an eye on which cultural products can enrich our sense of humanity and which artistic expressions can contribute to our collective humanity," Taufiqurrohman said.

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