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Forum focuses on world heritage protection and inheritance

Thousands of Chinese and overseas experts and scholars flocked to Fuzhou, Fujian province, with one common goal – the protection and inheritance of cultural heritage.

They came to attend the First China World Heritage (Fuzhou) Summit Forum held in the city on Nov 25-29, aiming to display China's world heritage culture and traditional culture, and strengthen its cultural exchanges and cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative route.

Gulangyu Island in east China's Fujian province and Hoh Xil in northwest China's Qinghai province joined the UNESCO World Heritage List this July, increasing the total number of world heritage sites in China to 52, making China the second largest country of world heritages.

Liu Qingzhu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the world heritage application is conducive to the protection and inheritance of cultural and natural heritage as well as the development of local tourism and culture.

It is exciting to eventually join the list, but the most important factor is how to protect the sites thereafter, said Liu.

Liu also emphasized that the wrongdoing of focusing on commercial development and ignoring protection must be avoided.

A China world heritage cultural expo is held alongside the forum, showcasing thousands of intangible cultural heritage items and top traditional art works at home and abroad.

Zhang Chang, fourth generation inheritor of "Clay Figurine Zhang" whose traditional craftsmanship was inscribed on the first national intangible cultural heritage list in 2006 and a sculpture professor at Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University, attended the expo.

Zhang Chang combines traditional craftsmanship with new designs and clay figurine materials. He said that the protection of intangible cultural heritage is not just to keep it unchanged such as preserving it in a museum, but to combine it with social life and to absorb modern design when inheriting it.