Dissemination of the China Principles

Dissemination of the Principles was aimed at promoting their adoption within China. As part of this effort, an internal conference for national and provincial level managers and professionals was organized by SACH in October 2000 to formally announce and discuss the Principles and a workshop to begin the process of dissemination was organized in Beijing in April 2001 for site authorities, managers, archaeologists, architects, and academics from many regions of China. In 2006 dissemination workshops were held in Australia and China for a group of professionals to lay the groundwork for future teaching of the master planning process and conservation principles. This was followed by formal training of practitioners from around China in 2007, partially funded with a grant from the Getty Foundation.

Strengthening China ICOMOS, under whose auspices the Principles appeared, as a professional organization in China was an important internal mechanism for disseminating the Principles and fostering a common understanding of conservation principles and practices. Since 2000, China ICOMOS has grown and strengthened its institutional capabilities significantly and now has full time staff and plays an important role in the international arena.

In order for the Principles to reach an international audience, the GCI undertook the bilingual Chinese-English publication of the China Principles and produced the first printing in 2002 (a second followed in 2004). The 2015 revised China Principles were translated into English and are being printed by China ICOMOS, with facilitation and editing assistance by the GCI. The Principles and aspects of their application at Mogao and Chengde have been presented at many conferences and workshops and in numerous publications (see Related Materials).

Review of Principles and Practice in China

The fiftieth anniversary in 2014 of the Venice Charter provided an occasion for reflection and assessment of international standards and guidelines at many venues globally. In China, 2014 also marked the end of the process, begun in 2011, of revising the China Principles. To commemorate the Venice Charter and assess the utilization of the China Principles over the last decade and more, in May 2014 the National Heritage Center of Tsinghua University organized a conference entitled International Principles and Local Practice of Cultural Heritage Conservation. This initiative was an outcome of a research project funds by the National Science Foundation of China to review the China Principles and prospects for future developments in the field.

The papers presented at this conference provide an overview of national and international principles and practice from several perspectives (Japan, Canada, England, ICCROM). The many papers from China afford an overview of changes in the revised version of the China Principles and a means of gauging the extent to which the Principles have become part of the professional repertoire of heritage conservation in the country. They include research on many aspects of heritage conservation in China that are not easily available to non-Chinese professionals, such as current trends and developments in conservation and management of vernacular architecture, archaeological sites, modern architecture, and industrial sites, as well as an examination of public participation in heritage conservation.

Conference Papers

Page last updated: August 2019