Beijing Central Axis seeks to strengthen digital, online presence
Published: May 08, 2023 10:29 PM
A 16-meter-long model of the Beijing Central Axis Photo: Li Hao/GT

A 16-meter-long model of the Beijing Central Axis Photo: Li Hao/GT

The Beijing Central Axis, the core area of China's capital city that stretches 7.8 kilometers from north to south, is strengthening its digital presence by introducing hundreds of cultural products, the authorities overseeing national cultural heritage protection said Monday. 

A total of 870 digital products inspired by the cultural relics found along the Beijing Central Axis will be unveiled, China's National Cultural Heritage Administration announced at a press conference in Beijing.

The scheme is supported by the Beijing Central Axis Foundation as well as Chinese tech giant Tencent. The two have joined together in hope of finding more solutions to protect, restore, study and excavate the vast architectural complexes along the axis.

This heritage complex encompasses three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 11 national key heritage sites, as well as two municipal heritage sites. 

A city with thousands of years of history, Beijing is celebrating its 870th year as the capital of China. The Central Axis is considered one of the most important representations of Chinese civilization. Local institutions have been making efforts to enter the digital space in order to reach a larger audience.

Several technologies have been used over the past year to increase the axis's online footprint, such as developing interactive games and a virtual Beijing Central Axis so people can explore the area's heritage on their phones.

Over the past several years, competitions aimed at getting people of all ages to learn more about this collection of heritage sites have also been held. The digital replicas that were created have enabled people in 30 countries and regions around the world to better appreciate the axis. The axis is expected explore more media such as music and video games in the future. 

Back in 2011, the Beijing municipal government proposed applying for the axis to be added to UNESCO World Heritage List in 2035.

"This heritage belongs to humanity, and its protection should not be the responsibility of only cultural professionals and heritage managers," Duong Bich Hanh, chief of the Culture Unit at the UNESCO Beijing Office, said in early April. 

"It is really a shared responsibility for each and every one of us."