Beijing Applies for World Heritage Status for Monuments
   2012-08-03 14:14:45      Web Editor: Zhang

Cultural relic authorities in Beijing are hoping to add two landmark buildings in Tian'anmen Square to UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage sites. [File Photo:]

Cultural relic authorities in Beijing are hoping to add two landmark buildings in Tian'anmen Square to UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage sites, the Beijing News reports.

An unnamed official at the Culture and Heritage Commission of Dongcheng District said Thursday that the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall and Monument to the People's Heroes had been recommended as candidate heritage sites in a renewed plan to apply for World Heritage Site status for the historic complexes along the city's north-south axis.

Beijing began the official application process last year, but the previous plan only covered buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties along the 7.8 km-long axis that links Yongdingmen Pass in the south to the Bell Tower in the north.

The new plan lists a total of 22 sites that also include the Great Hall of the People and National Museum, which flank Tian'anmen Square to the west and east, respectively.

But the number of candidate buildings has yet to be finalized as historic scenic communities such as Shichahai and Nanluogu Xiang are expected to be added.

The Monument to the People's Heroes was constructed in 1958, and the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall was built in 1977.

In response to questions that the two buildings were too young to be called "heritage sites," Wei Ruifeng, Assistant Director of the Culture and Heritage Commission of Dongcheng District, cited the Sydney Opera House as an example, saying that it was less than 100 years old but still had been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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