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Charm of culture put in spotlight

Heritage protection, inheritance stressed as relics exhibition opens in Liaoning

By LI YINGXUE and WU YONG in Shenyang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-10 07:31
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The Light of Civilization: Hongshan, Liangzhu and Chinese Civilization officially kicked off to celebrate this year's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day in Shenyang, Liaoning province, on June 8, 2024. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A key exhibition, The Light of Civilization: Hongshan, Liangzhu and Chinese Civilization, officially kicked off on Saturday in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province, to celebrate China's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day.

The exhibition at Shenyang Museum puts 266 relics on display and offers visitors an opportunity to experience the distinctive charm and enduring legacy of early-stage Chinese civilization, dating back more than 5,000 years.

Hongshan culture, which was centered in present-day Liaoning province, and Liangzhu culture, with its core in East China's Zhejiang province, were crucial hubs for sophisticated societies in China that shared an admiration for jade. The exhibits have been chosen to demonstrate the harmonious coexistence of the heavens and the Earth, and to help people better understand the origins of civilizations.

The curtain was also raised on Saturday in Shenyang on an institute dedicated to the research of Hongshan culture. It was jointly launched by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the Liaoning provincial government.

Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, observed each year on the second Saturday in June, serves as a vital platform for highlighting achievements in the protection and use of cultural relics and the preservation and inheritance of such heritage in China.

At the opening ceremony of the celebration, Li Qun, director of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, emphasized the importance of nurturing the foundation of civilization.

He highlighted the need to prioritize protection and inheritance, and to enhance the preservation of historical and cultural heritage in urban and rural development.

"We must effectively build and utilize national cultural parks, and advance the fourth national cultural relics survey," Li said.

"We should make more efforts to enhance the educational and research roles of museums and memorial halls, uncover the multifaceted value of cultural relics and heritage, and introduce more high-quality exhibitions and cultural treasures," he said.

Also during the opening ceremony, the National Cultural Heritage Administration unveiled 2023's top 10 high-quality development cases of cultural heritage, including the National Library of China's ancient book preservation and revitalization project and the Beijing Municipal Cultural Heritage Bureau's Great Wall national cultural park project.

The 2024 Outstanding Chinese Cultural Heritage New Media Projects and the list of the sixth group of the best cultural relics guardians were also announced. Additionally, the ceremony featured the issuance of the "National Treasure (Enlightenment and Foundation)" series of commemorative coins.

As part of the celebration events, industry experts and scholars gathered at a forum in Shenyang on Saturday to delve into novel strategies and approaches for safeguarding and perpetuating cultural treasures. Another symposium was held in the city on Friday to spotlight the innovative integration of new technology in the realm of cultural heritage preservation.

Shenyang became the first city in Northeast China to host the nation's main celebration activities for Cultural and Natural Heritage Day since its establishment in 2006.

Wang Xinwei, Party secretary of Shenyang, highlighted that Liaoning has nurtured a splendid historical culture, a profound industrial culture and a vibrant ethnic culture.

"We will focus on promoting exchange and mutual learning, advancing the joint application for World Heritage status for Hongshan cultural heritage, and maximizing the value of cultural relics as contemporary treasures, while deeply cultivating Liaoning's rich cultural landscape," Wang said.

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