Chinese experts to help repair Notre Dame in cooperation with France

By Zhao Yusha and Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/6 23:58:40

A child looks at Notre Dame as the first mass at the cathedral took place since the massive fire which ravaged the roof of the famous monument on Saturday in Paris, France. Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit presided over the mass in a side chapel to 30 congregants, all wearing hard hats. Photo: VCG

China plans to send experts to participate in the restoration of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, national cultural heritage authority announced on Wednesday. 

The two sides will decide the theme, mode and Chinese expert candidates to join the plan in 2020, China's National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.

The plan resulted from a contract signed by China and France on Wednesday to cooperate in cultural heritage protection. 

Administration chief Liu Yuzhu said that the French department of cultural heritage had consulted with their Chinese counterparts about cooperation since the devastating fire gutted the medieval structure. 

Some Chinese internet users expressed delight at the news.

"The French have come to the right person when it comes to repairing cultural relics," posted one Net user on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo social media platform.

The cooperation shows international recognition for China's skill at repairing cultural heritage, Liu Su, a Hunan University professor of architecture who specializes in restoration, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

China's experts have already shown their abilities with international ancient timber structures such as Angkor Wat at Cambodia, Liu said. 

Although the outer wall of the destroyed part of the Paris cathedral was stone, its inner support structure was wooded, something at which he believed China excels. 

China has helped Cambodia and Italy to repair damaged relics.

The two sides will also conduct exchanges and training on protection of Terracotta Warriors in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to NCHA statement. 

Cooperation on Notre Dame and the Terracotta Warriors aims to deepen the two countries' cooperation on preserving cultural relics and hopefully will project a positive effect worldwide, it said. 

According to the contract signed Wednesday, China and France will also cooperate in combating illicit traffic in cultural property, preventing theft and illegal entry and exit of cultural relics, the Xinhua News Agency reported.


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