The 2023 World Expo on Cultural Heritage Conservation and Rehabilitation, an event dedicated to sharing China’s expertise in cultural heritage conservation, is set to take place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, starting November 23. This three-day gala, highlighting China’s renowned museums and cultural institutions, aims to foster global dialogue and collaboration in heritage preservation.
Spanning five thematic exhibition areas, the expo delves into various facets of heritage conservation, including “digital cultural relics,” “intangible cultural heritage (ICH),” and “museums.” The museum section promises to be a highlight, featuring prestigious cultural institutions like the Palace Museum in Beijing, the Sanxingdui Museum in Sichuan, and the Dunhuang Academy in Gansu Province. These institutions not only display an extensive array of artifacts but also represent diverse aspects of Chinese cultural heritage.
Cultural heritage experts emphasize the significance of institutions like the Dunhuang Academy, which showcase relics while encapsulating the methodologies and philosophies behind China’s cultural preservation efforts. The expo is expected to draw over 80 exhibitors from around the globe, including cultural experts from France, Poland, Nepal, and notably large delegations from Germany and Italy. Prestigious participants such as the University of Florence and the German-Chinese Association of Artificial Intelligence (GCAAI) will be present.
The participation of natural science-oriented institutions like the Polytechnic University of Turin introduces a multidisciplinary element to the event. This reflects a contemporary trend in cultural heritage conservation that integrates technology, engineering, and digital tools. Such an international platform encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between Chinese and international experts.
The diversity of the expo is not limited to cultural backgrounds but extends to the professions of the participants. Alongside scholars, the event welcomes intangible cultural inheritors, architectural studios, cultural tourism professionals, and veterans in the cultural creative industry. With over 16 additional events, including forums and discussions on topics like the “Central Axis of Beijing” and “new technologies for conserving ancient buildings,” the expo offers a comprehensive exploration of heritage conservation.
Chengdu, known for its rich cultural history and contribution to cultural tourism, was selected as the host city over larger Chinese metropolises. The choice underscores Chengdu’s emerging role in the cultural economy. Due to its potential, the city will also host the event in 2024 and 2025.
Organized by several entities, including the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Heritage Administration, China Association for Conservation Technology of Cultural Heritage, and the China Foundation For Cultural Heritage Conservation, the expo will be held at Chengdu’s Western China International Expo City. The event aims to end on November 25, marking a significant milestone in fostering global cooperation in cultural heritage conservation and rehabilitation.