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Koguryo Sites Put onto Heritage List

The 28th Session of the World Heritage Committee yesterday agreed to inscribe the capital cities and tombs of the ancient Koguryo Kingdom of China onto its world heritage list.

It means China now has 30 world heritage entries.

Also yesterday, the Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang, in the northeastern province of Liaoning, was included as an extension to the already listed Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).

The Liaoning Tombs were inscribed as an extension to the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The selection committee also agreed to put the Complex of the Koguryo Tombs which is inside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the heritage list.

The Koguryo Kingdom once expanded to the Korean Peninsula.

To better protect the vanished civilization, the committee recommended future co-operation between China and the DPRK.

In response, Cultural Minister Sun Jiazheng said: "The Chinese Government encourages domestic archaeologists and scholars to undertake all possible co-operation with their peers in the DPRK."

Li Xinquan, deputy head of Liaoning's provincial archaeological institution, said yesterday that he was "one of the happiest archaeologists in the world."

Having spent nine years researching the city of Wunu Mountain, the oldest of the capital cities from the ancient Koguryo Kingdom, the researcher said he was fortunate to be able to witness the area's listing.

Discussion over the area's possible listing lasted less than 30 minutes and the representatives of eight countries made remarks about the site.

"All said China has preserved the capital cities and tombs of the ancient Koguryo Kingdom well and they supported its nomination to the list," Li said.

After the meeting, officials from Jilin and Liaoning provinces said they would strive to preserve the sites as the World Heritage Convention requires.

"We are under more pressure now," said Sun Xudong, head of Huanren County in Liaoning Province, where Wunu Mountain is located.

"Being added to the World Heritage List means we will have to work to higher standards.

"We will put priority on the protection and promotion of the ancient culture to the rest of the world."

(China Daily July 2, 2004)

China's Ancient Koguryo Kingdom Site on World Heritage List
Gaogouli Role in Chinese History Traced
UNESCO World Heritage Committee Session
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