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Russia Takes Active Measures to Protect World Heritage

The Russian government has adopted persistent measures to protect its world heritage sites and preserve the historical culture, said Igor Makovetskiy, chairman of the Russian world heritage committee.

Makovetskiy made the remarks here Friday in his interview with Xinhua at the ongoing 28th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province.

He said that as a party to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Russia has been protecting its cultural and natural heritage in strict accordance with the requirements of the Convention, and has set up dedicated laws and regulations.

Makovetskiy also emphasized the "key role" of a sound legal system in protecting world heritage. He said many Russian cities have defined special zones for protecting historical relics. Any reconstruction of the historical relics is considered illegal.

Meanwhile, the Russian world heritage committee organized some foundations to offer support for protecting world heritage, and encouraged non-government investment to participate in the protecting of world heritage, he noted.

As the world's largest country, Russia boasts a spectrum of sites of historical and cultural heritage, from the spectacular Kremlin to the gorgeous historical architectural complex in St. Petersburg. "They are the pride of Russian people," Makovetskiy said.

Russia has a great number of highly experienced experts, who applied the most advanced technologies to rebuilding historical architectures. This is the reason why Russia has completely preserved great cultural relics, he said.

Grigory Ordzhonikidze, secretary-general of the Russian committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said Russia attaches great importance to the cultivation of the idea of protecting cultural relics among younger generations.

The UNESCO Russian committee has also drafted a plan of protecting world heritage that involves the participation of the youth, and held two relevant international seminars in recent days, Ordzhonikidze said.

Up to now, Russia has 21 world heritage sites, among which 13 are cultural heritage sites and eight are natural sites.
(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2004)

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