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Traditional Architecture Conservation Union of World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO Established in Suzhou
From:WHITRAP Suzhou   PublishDate:2012-12-27  Hits:2147

On December 26th, Traditional Architecture Conservation Union of World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (hereinafter “WHITRAP”) was founded in Suzhou, China. More than one hundred well-known experts, scholars and entrepreneurs on the conservation research and restoration of traditional architectures attended the conference. Jiang Hongkun, the Suzhou Party Secretary, gave important instructions on the establishment of the Union, hoping to explore and integrate social resources and capacities by building the platform of the conservation union under the guidance of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and to facilitate the conservational course of traditional buildings at home and abroad by conducting experience-sharing between Suzhou and the world

Few years ago, a WHITRAP branch was established by UNESCO in Suzhou, with an aim to promote the conservation and education of world heritage and traditional architectures with its abundant resources of classic gardens, and historical, cultural and educational traditions. It is Suzhou`s commitment of heritage conservation and eduction to the world as well as a name card in the international arena.

As a cultural city with more than 2500 years of history, Suzhou boasts a wide range of historic and traditional architectures whose quality and quantity are both ranked among the top in the country. They are physical embodiment of Suzhou character, as well as the most unique and charming landscapes and historic resources of the city, among which the conservation and research of those traditional buildings play a particularly important role in the overall protection process. Since the important decisions on “Comprehensive renovation, Conservation and Utilization Project of Tao Huawu Historic Area ” by Suzhou Municipal Government in 2011, several other projects including the first pilot conservation and renovation program of old residential buildings in old city areas and old city walls, have been carried out step by step. Lately, Suzhou was named as the only demonstration area for historical and cultural city conservation in China by Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, which offers a wider and higher platform for the protection and utilization work in the future.

The newly-established Union is composed of the experts, scholars, institutes and entrepreneurs on the conservation, research and restoration of traditional architectures in Asia-Pacific region. Under the guidance of international principles, the Union aims to assist local authorities in terms of technique transmission, conservation and restoration consultation, theme research and inspection as well as relevant academic and educational activities and campaigns of traditional architectures by building a bridge and platform for the exchange and communication between governmental agencies, institutes and enterprises, universities and research agencies and their counterparts in the world.

The 92-year-old expert of National Experts' Committee for the Protection of Cities of Historical and Culture, Xie Chensheng attended the conference and served as the Honorary President of the Union.

The conference also elected the Executive Board, the Standing Committee of the Union as well as its president, vice-presidents and secretary-general. Jin Hongkui, the former Deputy Director of the Palace Museum is elected President.

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