Xizang launches pilot work for cultural relics census

Updated: Apr 18, 2024 By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa China Daily Print
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Significant cultural discoveries have been made in Maldrogungkar county in Lhasa, capital of the Xizang autonomous region, with 54 cultural relic sites identified since 2012 comprising ancient ruins and buildings, tombs, grotto temples and stone carvings, according to the regional cultural heritage bureau.

To help preserve and document Xizang's rich cultural heritage, the region recently commenced pilot work for the fourth national cultural relics census in Maldrogungkar.

Staff members from cultural relics census departments in the region's seven cities or prefectures participated in the initiative, a pivotal step in the region's commitment to heritage conservation.

The cultural relics census, deemed a fundamental pillar for the development of cultural relics, aims to comprehensively survey and register historical, artistic and scientific relics in the region.

By employing meticulous field investigations and registrations, the census seeks to enrich the cultural connotations and expand the scope of cultural relics protection.

The fourth cultural relics census encompasses critical tasks including the re-examination of previously identified and registered immovable cultural relics, the investigation and registration of newly discovered relics, the establishment of a comprehensive catalog and the development of robust teams for cultural relics protection.

The census will establish a comprehensive database of immovable cultural relics for the region, facilitating shared access through the national land planning "one map "implementation supervision information system.

This will enable government agencies, research institutions and the public to access different levels of data services, fostering a broader understanding and appreciation of Xizang's rich cultural heritage.

Maldrogungkar, known as the birthplace of King Songtsen Gampo, boasts a profound historical legacy, with landmarks such as the Horkhang Palace and the Jasang Ancient Road making it a significant cradle of Tibetan culture.

The county is currently home to 181 immovable cultural relics.

Chodron, the head of the regional cultural heritage bureau, said that the pilot work will serve as an experimental ground for cultivating census expertise and refining technical processes.

"Launching this work in this county can help cultivate a group of census forces and also test and improve the technical route, work process, standard norms, census system and data collection software for the census work," Chodron said.

During the fourth national cultural relics census, a comprehensive re-examination will be conducted of 4,277 immovable cultural relics identified and registered since the third national census, which ran from 2007 to 2011, alongside investigations and registrations for immovable relics not previously cataloged and those discovered since 2012. The census in Xizang is scheduled to be completed by June 2026.

Chen Jing, deputy secretary of the Lhasa Municipal Party Committee and executive deputy mayor of Lhasa, said the leading group for the fourth national cultural relics census in Lhasa has been established. The city has allocated 1.99 million yuan ($275,000) for the census, with more than 1.73 million yuan earmarked for different counties and districts already, China News Service reported.

Zhao Xingbang, an official from the regional department of culture and tourism, said, "The launch of the fourth national cultural relics census pilot work in the region signifies a crucial step toward preserving and celebrating the region's rich cultural legacy, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive and inclusive documentation of its invaluable heritage".

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