On July 6, 2020, a special ceremony to inaugurate “Liangzhu Day” was organized in conjunction with the first Liangzhu Cultural Week also being held in Hangzhou. Vice Minister of Education Tian Xuejun who is also Chair of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and Chair of the 44th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, and Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, both delivered speeches via video.
Tian noted that China was now home to 55 world heritage sites, each offering a window onto the way ancient China looked, and showcasing China’s natural beauty. He added that President Xi Jinping valued Liangzhu culture, coming twice to inspect work in person, and giving guidance on cultural preservation on seven occasions. Boasting a history of over 5,000 years, the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City form the first Neolithic archaeological site in East Asia to be included on the World Heritage List and offer a wonderful window into Chinese civilization.
Tian said that the current pandemic had posed great challenges to heritage protection worldwide with the number of tourists dropping dramatically in many heritage sites and some sites even being closed, maintenance and repair being postponed, and staff at heritage sites facing health and safety threats—all these called for concerted efforts of the international community. He believed that the Hangzhou government would follow President Xi’s guidance, continue to explore sound models in heritage protection, take active part in international cooperation and exchange, and make contributions to the preparation and holding of the 44th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City were added to the World Heritage List at the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which was held on July 6, 2019 in Azerbaijan. It was recently decided by the Standing Committee of Hangzhou Municipal People’s Congress that from 2020, July 6 would be “Liangzhu Day”.