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Asia-Pacific Heritage News in Press

October 2008

U.S. Researchers Use Advanced Technology to Locate Tomb of Genghis Khan

"Scientist at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) are using advanced visualization technologies to locate the tomb of Mongolian emperor Genghis Khan, UCSD said in a press release on Monday.


'Once we've narrowed down this region in Mongolia to a certain area,' Dr Albert Yu-Min Lin continued, 'we'll use techniques such as ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction and magnetometry to produce non-destructive, non-invasive surveys. We'll then work with people in UCSD's electrical engineering department to develop visual algorithms that will allow us to create a high-resolution, 3-D representation of the site.'"

Xinhua - 21 October 2008:
http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90782/90874/6518440.html

July 2008

Student Volunteers to Preserve India’s Heritage

“The Culture Ministry has submitted an ambitious programme to the Planning Commission to educate students in nearly 12,000 senior secondary schools and 5,000 colleges across the country on the rich cultural history of India. Under the Cultural Heritage Volunteer (CHV) scheme, student volunteers will be trained by scholars, educationists and artists. The students will also be engaged in recording and documenting the most threatened forms of cultural heritage."

"The ministry has recommended an outlay of Rs 1 billion for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) and an annual outlay of Rs.200 million for 2007-08 for the scheme.”
Thaindian News - 3 July 2008:
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/student-volunteers-to-%20preserve-indias-heritage-minister_10067150.html.

June 2008

Quake Caused Huge Damage to China’s Cultural Relics
“A total of 169 cultural relics sites under state protection and 250 provincial level ones suffered damages of various degrees during the May 12 quake, official sources said Friday. Of the damaged relics, two were on the World Heritage List, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage said. In total, 2,766 pieces of relics were damaged, of which 292 were considered very precious, the administration said.”
Xinhua News Agency - 6 June 2008:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-06/06/content_8322242.htm.

April 2008

Building height limits mandatory around Guia Lighthouse
“A regulation sets the maximum height limit a building around the culturally protected area of the Guia Lighthouse” in order to avoid “tremendous damage to the world heritage site. The government will negotiate with the owner in order to have the height adjusted down to the limit. The government had collected opinions from World Heritage experts and considered the situation of Macao and its sustainable development before setting out the adjustments on the height limits of construction around the Guia Lighthouse.”
Macau Daily Times - 17 April 2008:
http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view
&id=10118&Itemid=99999999
.


Hoi An - Preserving the past
“Hoi An streets are slowly losing their authentic feel with more ancient houses being turned into businesses. Last December, Francesco Bandarin, director of the World Heritage Center, had warned Hoi An that the city was slowly losing its authentic feel due to the replacement of street lanterns with neon lights and the encroachment of traffic and pollution. Although the city has designated Area I as a location that must be preserved in its original format without any renovation, some of the streets are simply being turned into a wholesale supermarket, with shop after shop lined up. According to Le Van Giang, chairman of Hoi An People’s Committee, the city hopes to finalize its new zoning guideline for businesses in Area I by 1 May 2008, which prevent mushrooming business from crowding its ancient streets, though in 2006 it already said it would limit business activities in Area I to only souvenir shops. Preserving Hoi An isn’t just for the sake of sightseeing and pleasing tourists, Giang said. ‘It’s about preserving a community.’”
Thanh Nien Daily - 07 April 2008:
http://www.thanhniennews.com/travel/?catid=7&newsid=37445.

March 2008

Underwater Archaeology in Iran
“As evidenced by archaeological documents, the ancient city of Kish, the wall of the ancient city of Gorgan, Takht-E Suleiman and part of the Portuguese Castle are submerged in Iran’s coastal waters. Although Iran’s underwater archaeological activities are over half a century old, this topic is yet to be treated in a suitable manner. Referring to the fact that UNESCO is setting regulations for underwater archaeology, Mir-Eskandari noted that the world body has drawn up sanctuaries and marine borders as well as laws related to discovered relics. The current year has been called the Year of Underwater Archaeology by ICOMOS and UNESCO is trying to mark this occasion in Iran. The prospects of marine archaeology have a bright outlook, but organizational measures inside the country are few and two or three people cannot accomplish much.”
Persian Journal – 12 March 2008:
http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_24464.shtmliran_news/publish/
article_24464.shtml
.

February 2008

Databank on cultural heritage on the anvil
“Faced with increasing incidents of smuggling of invaluable cultural property from the country, the government is planning to create a databank of India’s heritage. While there were 1,012 cases of theft of cultural property in 2005, the next year witnessed 1,307 such incidents. The Mission for Antiquities and Monuments of the Culture Ministry has been asked to create a databank on the country’s heritage in the wake of thefts of properties which have cultural significance.”

The Times of India - 24 February 2008:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/
Databank_on_cultural_heritage_on_the_anvil/articleshow/2809243.cms
.

January 2008

The pearl of the Punjab

“Chandigarh, built on the baking plains of northern India, is one of Le Corbusier’s greatest achievements.” “Le Corbusier had long dreamed of building an ideal city. In the early 1920s, this most inventive and controversial of all 20th-century architects even suggested demolishing half of Paris to build a city of modern towers, set in an urban parkland.”

“As fate, and Indian independence, would have it, the Swiss-French genius eventually got his chance - on the blisteringly hot plains of the Punjab. Today, the city he built there - Chandigarh, 250km north of Delhi - is one of the world’s most distinctive and beguiling places. It is a city set around a vast artifi cial lake, composed of abstract 1950s civic buildings and public monuments that look like Picasso paintings made concrete. Based on a super-rational, Modern movement grid, it is European in spirit, yet owes nothing to the Raj. It has parks, bird-life, flowers and sweet-smelling roses in abundance. Chandigarh is as intriguing as it is unlikely: a Corbusian dream realized far, far from Paris.”
The Guardian - 28 January 2008:
http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/architecture/story/0,,2248057,00.html