The Workshop on the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process Held in Xi’an The Workshop on the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process
The Workshop on the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process Held in Xi’an
The Workshop on the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process was successfully held in Xi’an on 12th November, 2018.
Group photo of representatives (Credit:IICC-X)
The workshop was organised by IICC-X, as the continuation of the 2017 Workshop on the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process. It was in collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage Center, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, as well as Xi'an Municipal People's Government, Shaanxi and Xi'an Administration of Cultural Heritage. On the background of the seven consensus formed at the workshop last year, all relevant parties exchanged views on the selection of the properties of the countries along the South Asia section of the Silk Roads, dicussed the corridor OUV, the status of conservation and management, and the laws and regulations, in preparation of the nomination process. The delegates developed a draft agreement on the next phase of the South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process, the final version will be published on website of UNESCO WHC.
More than 40 participants, including Dr.Roland Chi-Hung Lin, specialist of UNESCO WHC, Prof.Timothy Williams, Reader of UCL London, Mr.Suresh Sula Shresta, principal of World Heritage Conservation Department of Nepal Archaeology Administration, Mr. Song Xinchao, Deputy Director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, as well as the delegates from 5 provinces (Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai and Tibet) along the South Asian Silk Roads in China, and universities and academic institutes participanted in the workshop and gave speeches.
In his speech, Mr. Zhou Kuiying, Deputy Director of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration, expressed his thanks to the organizers of the ICOMOS International Conservation Center-Xi’an, the supporters of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, and Xi'an People's Government. He expressed the willingness of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration to continue to increase cooperation with the heritage sites, professional institutions and experts along the Silk Road, and to put the South Asian section of the Silk Road on the World Heritage List at an early date through joint efforts by all parties.
Wang Wei, Deputy Secretary General of Xi'an government, expressed his gratitude for choosing Xi'an again as the venue for holding this workshop. On the basis of reviewing the achievements of the South Asian Silk Road Symposium last year, he stressed the important relationship between the Silk Road and Xi'an. In 2019, on the fifth anniversary of the successful declaration of the Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor as the World Heritage, Mr. Wang Wei was looking forward to promoting the intellectual support and technical assistance in the protection and declaration of the cultural heritage of the Silk Road through the international and domestic colleagues with the platform of IICC, which can carry forward the cultural spirit of South Asia, strengthen the people's hearts and the all-round exchanges and cooperation between the countries along the Silk Road.
Suresh Sura Shresta, Head of the Department of World Heritage Protection of the Nepalese Archaeological Bureau and the World Heritage Project Nomination of the Nepal Silk Road, first reviewed the history of Nepal’s participation in the Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process, and introduced the achievements of the protection and declaration of Silk Road cultural heritage. Mr. Shresta elaborated on the basic situation of the South Asian Silk Road Corridor in Nepal, focusing on the rock paintings of the remains of the ancient city and the remains of the irrigation system of the Lumbini-Mustang Corridor. At the same time, Mr. Shresta demonstrated the public education and publicity work on the protection of the Silk Road heritage in the country, as well as a series of interactive achievements aimed at the indigenous people of the heritage site.
Mr. Roland Chi-Hung Lin, Commissioner of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, spoke of UNESCO's initiative to launch the “Path of Dialogue” scientific expedition in the late 1980s, reviewing UNESCO's important nodes in promoting the Silk Road research, conservation and World Heritage nomination process, introducing the specific conditions and the nomination strategy of the Silk Road from the whole route to the corridors in the South Asian section. He hoped that countries along the South Asian Silk Road can actively communicate and cooperate on many aspects such as laws and regulations, scientific research and heritage monitoring. Mr. Lin has repeatedly emphasized the important position and role of IICC-X in the cross-border coordination, protection management and heritage nomination. He also expected that IICC-X can give full play to the liaison and coordination functions of the transnational secretariats, continue to promote the work of the South Asian section of the Silk Road to achieve more results under the guidance of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration, Xi'an People's Government, and expected more countries to join the nomination project.
Tim Williams, senior professor at the School of Archaeology of University College London, introduced the latest developments in the protection and research of the South Asian section of the Silk Road. He was very fortunate to see that all parties were making unremitting efforts in this direction and creating encouraging results. Based on the special study of the South Asian Corridor, Professor Williams proposed a declaration strategy, analyzed the selection method of the heritage sites, and emphasized the importance of the database. He also said that he was willing to carry out deeper cooperation with international and Chinese professional organizations, especially cooperation with IICC-X in the construction of the Silk Road database.
Professor Zhang Jianlin, researcher at the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, introduced the progress of the protection of sites along the Silk Road in South Asia, East Asia and several parts of China. He used a large number of pictures to illustrate the status of the display and interpretation of the sites along the Silk Road and analyzed the restoration and display method of different types of sites, providing a rich case study of protection display.
Professor Tong Tao, associate researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, restored a real Tang-Tibet ancient Road and the important role that this line played on the Silk Road in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, through combing a lot of historical materials provided by Wang Xuance and Xuanzang.
In the afternoon, Professor Chen Ling from the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University first gave a speech. He started from the geography and space, introduced the geographical space of the culture, the impact on the human race and other aspects, and proposed the difference between the South Asian corridor and the Tianshan Corridor in the grassland area, emphasizing the relationships of the Maritime Silk Road and the South Asian Corridor.
Professor He Jie from the School of Architecture of Tianjin University introduced the work on remote sensing and record analysis of cultural landscapes in Lumbini-Mustang section and Luo City in Nepal, showing a lot of work done by the team in just 10 days, and the fruitful results.
Niu Jun, Director of the Cultural Heritage of Qinghai Province, Min Rui, Director of the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Ms. Wan Jiao, Assistant to the Dean of the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, and Gao Feng, Deputy Director of the Department of Museology of Tibet Cultural Heritage Bureau, respectively
introduced the recent archaeological investigations, records and protections for the heritages of the South Asian Silk Road in Qinghai, Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet, and presented a series of new discoveries that had great significance by providing physical evidence for the study of South Asian Silk Road.
Professor Feng Jian, Vice Director of IICC-X first thanked UNESCO, ICOMOS, State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration and Xi'an Municipal Government for their strong support and guidance to all aspects of IICC-X. He demonstrated the construction and recent achievements of the IICC-X Silk Road archives information management platform to the participating experts, focusing on the construction of the IICC cultural heritage database in the South Asian section of the Silk Road since the South Asia Conference in 2017, and stated that it will continue to work closely with the School of Archaeology of University College London to speed up the process of data sharing and data standardization, promote the construction of the database in the South Asia section, and lay the file foundation for the protection, research and declaration of the South Asian section of the Silk Road.
In the following session, chaired by Roland Chi-Hung Lin, the participants discussed and unanimously adopted the “South Asian Silk Roads Serial and Transnational World Heritage Nomination Process Consensus Draft (2018-2019)”. The final version of the draft will be published on the official website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in the near future.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Song Xinchao, Deputy Director General of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and Chairman of ICOMOS China, made a summary of the meeting. He reviewed and summarized the speeches of the experts in detail, stressing that the work of the South Asian nomination was inseparable from the support of countries along the Silk Road and welcomed the participation of India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar and other countries. Song Xinchao asked all museology units and related institutions in the country to further strengthen the investigation, research, planning and publicity of the heritage sites in South Asian section, and explore the value attributes of each site and the outstanding universal value of related corridors. He also pointed out the importance of the database platform construction, and requested IICC-X to cooperate with University College London in depth, improve the database construction, and consider signing MOU with the provinces along the line to provide archival data support for the next application.
Mr. Damodar Gautam, Head of the Planning and Evaluation Department of the Nepal Archaeological Bureau, Liu Yang, Deputy Director of the World Heritage Department of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, Xiao Li, Director of the World Heritage Department, Li Gang, Deputy Director of the Cultural Heritage Department of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration, Ma Rui, Director of Xi’an Cultural Heritage Administration, Professor David Browoff, expert on the World Heritage Planning Protection of Roman Defence Line of the University of Newcastle,UK, Duan Qingbo, Dean of the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwest University and Deputy Dean Duan Qingbo, and senior professor of the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwest University Zhao Congcang, associate professor Zhou Jianhong and about 50 experts and representatives from other professional institutions and universities in Shaanxi Province attended the meeting.