There are calls for the wealth of architectural buildings surrounding the Forbidden City in Beijing, officially known as the Palace Museum, to apply for UNESCO Cultural World Heritage status, reports China News Service.
The buildings include the Ancestral Temple, the Beijing Shejitan, also known as the Altar of Earth and Harvests, Jingshan Park and the 15th century Duanmen, which serves as the main entrance to the Forbidden City. All the sites are currently open to the public, but are less visited.
The proposal has come from the director of the Palace Museum, Shan Jixiang, who’s a member of China’s top advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
“All those historical buildings represent an important part of the culture and lifestyle of the royal families during the Ming and Qing dynasties, together with the Forbidden City,” Shan said.
Being inscribed on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List, Shan said, would help these historical sites become better known.
He suggested the move may also take the pressure off the Forbidden City by giving tourists more options during their stay.
The Palace Museum attracts millions of tourists each year, posing a threat to the effective protection of the historical site.
Official data shows the number of visitors to the Palace Museum hit over 16 million last year, an increase of around 6.2 percent from a year earlier.
Shan identified a number of issues which could be addressed to make the Forbidden City less crowded, including traffic restrictions, and clamping down on illegal trades. – CRI
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily