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Jinan's wisdom in cultural heritage protection highlighted
english.jinan.gov.cn2019-10-07

Sun Shutao briefs attendees about Jinan's cultural heritage protection, at the recent 2019 International Spring Cultural Landscape City Alliance Conference. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Cultural heritage protection plays a vital role in promoting urban sustainable development.

Sun Shutao, mayor of Jinan, underlined the importance of protecting cultural heritage at the 2019 International Spring Cultural Landscape City Alliance Conference, held on Sept 10 in the city.

The conference invited more than 150 overseas representatives from member cities of the International City Alliance of Springs Cultural Landscape and urged all to unite and work together for the protection of cultural heritage and urban sustainable development.

With a history of more than 4,000 years, Jinan, an ancient city in East China's Shandong province, has had a uniquely successful experience in cultural heritage protection.

Jinan, dubbed as the City of Springs, boasts numerous springs including 72 famous ones, such as the Baotu Spring and Black Tiger Spring that contribute to wonderfully elegant and much-loved scenery distinct to the city.

Baotu Spring Park has arguably the most famous spring in Jinan. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"This is a real 'City of Springs' because here there are more than 800 springs – you can enjoy them, you drink water from them and you can swim in them, because the temperature of the water is permanent at about 18 degrees Celsius," said Kristina Zorkina, an editor from Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency, during a trip to Jinan in September.

"The scenery of Jinan is really fantastic, breathtaking and terrific. I was very impressed by visiting it," she added.

The city's unique spring water landscape covers a host of evocative water features in gardens, dwellings and lakes and other features that spread across the city.

The authorities have tried to integrate regional spring water protection and urban water system utilization, which highlights the ancient city's wisdom in promoting sustainable development and initiatives in water environment treatment and utilization. It also represents a unique system in China, even in the world, in terms of utilizing spring water resources.

In recognizing its persistent efforts and unique features, the landscape was included on the preliminary list of UNESCO world cultural heritage sites in 2019.

A view of Black Tiger Spring in Jinan, East China's Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Furthermore, the city also attaches much attention on protecting historical areas and the preserving and passing on of cultural heritage.

Local government has attempted to maintain the authentic look of the city's historical and cultural areas, such as Mingfucheng Historical Area and Baihuazhou Historical and Cultural Block.

The Mingfucheng Historical Area boasts a rich variety of ancient buildings built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which is a good place for visitors to get to know the city's history.

The Baihuazhou Historical and Cultural Block is now a demonstration zone for the preservation of traditional architecture and renovation for modern use.

A traditional handicraft workshop featuring some 126 examples of intangible cultural heritages and traditional handicrafts is situated in the block.

Over 100 inheritors of craftwork including shadow puppets, paper-cutting and wood carving, can be found in the area.

Muhammad Imran, a journalist from the Dawn News in Pakistan, tries his hand at shadow puppets at the Baihuazhou Historical and Cultural Block. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Muhammad Imran, reporter from Pakistan's Dawn News, was so excited to watch the shadow puppets again at the Baihuazhou Historical and Cultural Block.

"We experienced the shadow play. I was recalling memories of what my mom told me back in Pakistan…But nowadays in Pakistan we don't have the facilities to enjoy this kind of play."

He spoke highly of the city's efforts to protect traditional handcrafts.

"It was a good experience for me and I took some videos and photos," he said, adding that he would share with friends and family back home how China was preserving this kind of art. 

The workshop is open free to the public from 8 am to 9 pm, in an attempt to help more people get close to Jinan's traditional arts and culture.

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