Hutongs, traditional courtyards, the Drum and Bell Tower, local residents – all of these traditional characteristics make the Gulou neighborhood a classic cultural representation of Old Beijing. Despite Gulou’s cultural importance, Beijing has now reportedly allocated 5 billion RMB to convert 12.5 hectares of the Drum and Bell Tower area into a ‘Beijing Time Cultural City’ – putting the neighborhood in serious danger. Such a massive scale development will include large infrastructures like public squares and a museum. As a result, there will be extensive evictions, demolition, and construction in this ancient area, and gone will be the traditional courtyards, hutongs, and local residents. Once again, Old Beijing is facing another serious threat of demolition. On one side we have well-established laws and regulations that stand to protect Beijing’s history and culture. On the other side, however, there is a 5 billion RMB project waiting to commence. Please join us for a talk by Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center founder and chairperson He Shuzhong.
Note: The speech will be in English, with questions answered in Chinese with English translation.
DATE: Monday, March 29 2010
VENUE: CHP’s Office, Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP)
Room 309, Building E, No.46, Fangjia Hutong, Andingmennei Dajie, Dongcheng District, Beijing
REGISTRATION: email firstname.lastname@example.org so we know numbers and for security clearance. Members only!
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
He Shuzhong is a passionate cultural conservationist and one of China’s leading experts in cultural heritage law. In 1998, working as a teacher at China University of Political Science and Law, he launched a small volunteer group called Cultural Heritage Watch, which later evolved into CHP. In 2003, Mr He founded Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center as an NGO (legally registered with the Beijing Bureau of Civil Affairs). Mr He received his Bachelor’s Degree from East China College, Shanghai, in 1984, and then became Associate Professor at China Political Science and Law University in Beijing. In 2004 he received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Archaeological Institute of America, and in 2005 was awarded the Outstanding Administration Award by the government of the People’s Republic of China.