UK's Hadrian's Wall and China's Great Wall Partners for Heritage Protection
By Mei Manuel, December 15, 2017 04:12 AM
On Tuesday, British Heritage Minister John Glenn shared that the UK's Hadrian's Wall and China's Great Wall will be working together as part of a unique agreement to bolster research, education and tourism growth in the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), a heritage council will be launched as part of the agreement to introduce the importance of historic environment, establish consensus and bolster active cooperation between government agencies to protect these heritage sites.
Glen announced that both Hadrian's Wall and the Great Wall of China's teams will be signing a unique collaboration agreement to that would improve research about the historical and cultural importance of the two sites. He also stressed it is the first agreement of its kind in the heritage sector.
The DCMS adds that the teams would also be looking into challenges and opportunities when it comes to managing these sites and look into more ways on how to promote tourism in both countries.
Glenn also introduced a new framework that would assist in bolstering the improvement of the heritage sector through the agreement. The framework is called "Wall-to-Wall Collaboration" and it is a part of the People-to-People Dialogue between China and the UK that would be taking place this week in London. The initiative was developed in February 2017 during a UK-China cultural heritage event in Beijing and Xi'an. One of the topics discussed was the conservation of the two heritage sites.
Glenn said: "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."
The agreement would be signed on Thursday by the Historic England, which manages Hadrian's Wall and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, which manages As part of the agreement, they will hold a seminar in Newcastle next year as the first project for the partnership.
The CEO of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, 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 structure in the Roman province of Britannia in 122 under Emperor Hadrian. Today, it is one of the major tourist attractions along the border between England and Scotland.
The UK heritage sector, which bolsters a workforce of over 278,000 people, contributed $1.32 billion to the British economy last year, a rise of seven percent on 2015.
Meanwhile, the Great Wall of China is actually a series of 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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