China helps preserve museums, heritage sites in Pakistan

May 18, 2024

China has established multi-level exchange relations with Pakistani governments, the archaeological bureau, museums and heritage sites, said Chen Zhigang, associate professor at Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts and director of the Guardians of Gandhara program.
Commenting on the future cooperation plans for the protection of cultural sites and relics of Pakistan, he told Xinhua that both countries need to further focus on tourism infrastructure improvement, basic maintenance, and archaeological excavation of sites.
Besides that, digitization of cultural heritage, joint scientific research projects as well as heritage education and cultural exchanges would be further encouraged in the future, he said.
Pakistan is rich in cultural heritage with a large number of historical cultural sites sprawling across the country. China and Pakistan took an extra mile to preserve the sites, including Takht-i-Bahi, under the Guardians of Gandhara program run by Chinese and Pakistani scholars and volunteers.
Talking to Xinhua, Maaz Ali, a teacher and conservation assistant at the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, KP, said that the main purpose of various educational projects was to make locals living near archeological sites aware about the heritage sites of Pakistan and rebuild their connection with cultural heritage.
“Especially, young generation is in charge of Guardians of Gandhara as they will take a lead in preserving these important archeological sites of Pakistan in the future,” he said.
According to him, Pakistani and Chinese teams have been working together on the restoration of various archeological sites in Pakistan, adding that more sites are being identified for the conservation work.
With restoration work done on several sites, Ali said that the number of tourists, especially Chinese and Japanese, have increased over the past years. “Thousands of tourists have been visiting the historical sites recently, injecting new impetus into the tourism sector of Pakistan and national development.”
As International Museum Day is observed on May 18, Pakistan sought cooperation with China to further strengthen the protection of cultural heritage.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China and the National Heritage and Culture Division of Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly implement archaeology, cultural heritage protection and restoration, exhibition exchanges, and prevent illegal trafficking of relics.
Director of Archaeology and Museums of KP Abdul Samad told Xinhua that China always walks the talk and its commitment towards preserving cultural heritage in Asia is practical, highlighting that China is collaborating with Pakistani archaeologists to preserve and restore the archeological sites using modern technologies.
He said that Pakistan needs to further strengthen cooperation with China to protect heritage sites, maintain academic collaborations between universities and cultural heritage institutions in the two countries, and initiate joint scientific and technological preservation initiatives.
Samad believed that China’s cultural heritage cooperation and exchanges programs with various countries including Pakistan are exemplary, adding that China’s effective measures for harmonious coexistence of different civilizations set examples for the world.