China’s Silk road temple conservation held up as model

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beijing, Jan 22 (IANS/AKI) A project to conserve a 634 AD temple along China’s famed ’silk road’ has turned a model for preservation and urban renovation, says the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in a report.

“The protection and utilisation of the palace site has a far-reaching significance on the ‘Silk Road’ …(and has) created a world model for site protection. What’s more, it promotes a new model of urban development,” Javier Solana, an ICOMOS expert, stated.

The Tang dynasty (617-907 AD) monument, known as the Daming Palace, is considered the “pinnacle of palace architecture in China”, and became part of a local and national government initiative to “preserve while developing” the site.

International archaeologists from ICOMOS have been monitoring the restoration of the neglected temple, located in a run-down area of the ancient city of Xi’an in China’s central Shaanxi province.

The project aims to salvage the city’s archaeological area, which has been illegally built on in recent years. It is also upgrading dilapidated and deprived residential parts of the area.

The site is one of 12 archaeological areas that have earned China’s “National Archaeological Park” recognition.

The site’s renovation is the result of a 2007 meeting in Xi’an when authorities agreed to follow the principles of “efficiently preserving…ancient culture while serving society.”

The Daming Palace National Heritage Park opened in October 2010.


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