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Protecting Vernacular Architecture from Seven Aspects
On the Wuxi Forum on China’s Cultural Heritage Conservation entitled Protection of Vernacular Architecture, SHAN Jixiang, Director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, declared that China will promote the protection of vernacular architecture from the following seven aspects. First of all, the governments of different levels should play the leading role to include the protection of vernacular architecture into the planning for the construction of new socialist countryside. Secondly, the legislation, as well as the technical standardization and regulation of the protection of vernacular architecture should be enhanced. Thirdly, the vernacular architecture should be listed as the focus of the third national survey of cultural heritage, with those of high values being listed by the governmental departments concerned as immovable cultural heritage and protected cultural heritage unit of various levels, and the towns and villages where the resources of vernacular architecture are plenteous and well-preserved as historic and cultural town or village. Fourthly, the policies concerning land transference should be further studied. In particular, the vernacular architecture that has been listed as protected cultural heritage unit or immovable cultural heritage should be conserved in its original location, instead of being removed and restored; while the population of the ancient villages and the vernacular architectures should be gradually decentralized to new districts for better protection. Fifthly, the investment channel should be broadened, so as to encourage and guide the social funds to the protection and maintenance of vernacular architecture following the principle of “who maintains who benefits” which ensures the investors’ legal rights and benefits; meanwhile the professional training should also be strengthened to form and support the local team of vernacular architecture maintenance. Sixthly, under the precondition of being well protected, the cultural heritages could also be rationally utilized by the local residents following the guidelines which satisfy the demand of both protection and development. Seventhly, the protection administration system should be completed, with the administrative procedure of review and approval for the conservation and maintenance of cultural heritage being simplified to a certain extent; meanwhile the experimental work of cultural heritage conservation should be carried out actively, with a group of demonstration projects being completed by concentrating the technical forces and the experience being popularized, so that the local residents could have reliable samples to follow and the cost for protection and maintenance could also be reduced.

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