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School urges heritage protection on eve of World Heritage Day

2012/04/17 23:06:15

Taipei, April 17 (CNA) Officials from an arts university urged the Taiwanese public Tuesday, the eve of World Heritage Day, to protect their cultural heritage and exhorted schools to emphasize such issues in their arts education.

"The role of art institutions is not only to teach students but to create an atmosphere in which public attention to cultural heritage protection can be raised," said Lee Chao-hsiu, president of the Tainan National University of the Arts.

Lee made the remarks at a press conference in Taipei to promote a free event organized by the university to celebrate World Heritage Day. The school is one of three national arts universities in Taiwan.

The event will allow 50 guests to taste different kinds of Chinese tea while listening to students and teachers from the university performing on various Chinese traditional musical instruments, including an ancient Chinese zither made in the Song Dynasty.

Cheng Te-yuan, dean of the university's music college, said the idea is to combine "something historic with modern life."

Lee said many places around the world have been included on UNESCO's World Heritage List because of their tea cultures, including the West Lake Cultural Landscape of the Hangzhou area of China.

The Chinese zither, or guqin, was also declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003, he said, explaining the choice of marrying tea and the zither.

"When society is seeking progress, it often overlooks the importance of cultural preservation," said Lee.

"However, cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, is very important, as it allows the younger generation to understand our history," said Lee, who urged the government to put more effort into protecting the country's cultural heritage.

It is the third year that the university has organized events to celebrate World Heritage Day.

(By Christie Chen)