Hadrian’s Wall, Great Wall enter heritage partnership

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/12/7 21:13:51

A unique agreement that will see Britain's Hadrian's Wall and the Great Wall of China work together was announced on Tuesday by UK Heritage Minister John Glenn.

The two UNESCO World Heritage Sites will work together on research, education and tourism growth, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in an official announcement.

A new Heritage Council will be launched emphasizing the value of the historic environment, building consensus and ensuring greater coordination across governments.

Organizations responsible for maintaining Hadrian's Wall and The Great Wall of China will sign a unique collaboration agreement to increase the historical and cultural understanding of the two sites, Glen announced as he set out the priorities for the project.

Representatives from the two World Heritage Sites will work together to examine the challenges and opportunities of managing large and complex archaeological remains and explore potential tourism growth in both countries, a DCMS representative said.

The agreement will be the first of its kind, said Glenn, as he launched a framework for the growth of the heritage sector.

Called the "Wall-to-Wall Collaboration," the initiative is part of the People-to-People Dialogue project, a cultural exchange project between China and the UK taking place in London this week.

The initiative arose from a UK-China cultural heritage event held in Beijing and Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, in February, during which conservation of the two walls was one of the key topics of discussion.

"The Wall-to-Wall Collaboration is the perfect example of how heritage can be used to strengthen international partnerships, grow tourism and build a truly global Britain. Today I am setting out how we will continue to make the case for heritage, and showcase the benefits it brings to our economy, our communities and our quality of life," Glenn said at the announcement.

Historic England and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, which manages the Great Wall, will hold a seminar in Newcastle next year, the first step in a wider program of collaboration between the two sites.

Duncan Wilson, CEO of Historic England, said, "I also look forward to a fruitful collaboration between Historic England and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage with the signing of the Wall-to-Wall agreement."

Hadrian's Wall was built as a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, with work starting in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian.

It remains a major tourist attraction along the border area between England and Scotland.

The UK heritage sector, which employs 278,000 people, contributed $1.32 billion to the British economy last year, a rise of 7 percent over 2015.

The Great Wall, a symbol of China, is actually not just one wall but many interconnected walls built between the third century B.C. and the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defense system against invasions from the north.

It was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.


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