Culture is at the beginning and the end of development
(Léopold Sédar Senghor)
Published on 23 October 2011
The new heritage protection law, being reviewed at the Executive Council, will alone not be enough to preserve Macau’s historical centre, said a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) commissioner in Beijing.
Julien Glenat, quoted by TDM News, stressed that the enforcement of any legal provisions and the way people view heritage protection are the main issues. “We just need people to pay attention to it, to work together in Macau,” he said.
“What we always need to keep in mind is that heritage is a long-term investment [and] maybe it will not pay off in the next five years but heritage took a lot of time to build. You can also destroy [it] in a very few years. So this is what UNESCO is always worried about,” Glenat explained.
Last July UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee urged the MSAR to develop appropriate legal and planning instruments to protect its cultural heritage, expressing “concern at the continuing inadequacy of the current management system”.
Glenat downplayed fears that the territory could be stripped of its World Heritage status. “There is always risk. We don’t want to [have to remove it] from the list of World Heritage, we are just afraid,” he stressed on the sidelines of the 4th International Tourism and World Heritage Travel Expo.
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