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Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP) is a small grassroots, legally-registered NGO working to protect cultural heritage across China.

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Architect Zaha Hadid accused of ‘destruction’ of Beijing old town with futuristic swirling shopping centre Galaxy Soho

The Independent THURSDAY 01 AUGUST 2013

Hufton Crow

A Chinese heritage group has accused the architect Zaha Hadid of “destroying” Beijing’s old town after a futuristic new development created by her practice was honoured with a top award by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Galaxy Soho, a panoramic 330,000 sq. metre entertainment and office complex in the heart of Beijing, is a typically avant-garde design by the British-Iraqi architect responsible for the Olympic Park’s Aquatics Centre.

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An Open Letter to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Its 2013 RIBA Award for Galaxy Soho

To Whom It May Concern at RIBA:

From the recent Weibo (Sina miniblog) post by the Honorable Ambassador of the United Kingdom, we have learned that the Galaxy Soho project, designed by British Architect Zaha Hadid, has won the 2013 RIBA award. Many of us in China were very shocked when they learned this news. The Galaxy Soho project has violated a number of heritage preservation laws and regulations, including the Measures for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks of Beijing, The Beijing City Master Plan, and Plans for Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks of Beijing. It has also caused great damage to the preservation of the old Beijing streetscape, the original urban plan, the traditional Hutong and courtyard houses, the landscape formation, and the style and color scheme of Beijing’s unique vernacular architecture. During the land acquisition process, the legal rights of the original hutong residents were also grossly disregarded. The Galaxy Soho Project is definitely a typical unfortunate example on the destruction of Beijing old town; but, not withstanding, it has been selected as a winner of your award. Many of us in Beijing are very disappointed and offended.
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History vs. history as China plans to rebuild past

By LOUISE WATTAssociated Press

Associated Press/Andy Wong - In this photo taken on Dec. 26, 2012, a bicycle is parked outside a Hutong home with a demolition notice seen behind the entrance wall near the historical Drum and Bell Tower in Beijing. The district government wants to demolish these dwellings, move their occupants to bigger apartments farther from the city center and redevelop a square in 18th century Qing Dynasty fashion. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Associated Press/Andy Wong - In this photo taken on Dec. 26, 2012, a bicycle is parked outside a Hutong home with a demolition notice seen behind the entrance wall near the historical Drum and Bell Tower in Beijing. The district government wants to demolish these dwellings, move their occupants to bigger apartments farther from the city center and redevelop a square in 18th century Qing Dynasty fashion. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

BEIJING (AP) — In a corner of old Beijing, the government may soon be both destroying history and remaking it.
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Prince Claus Fund Assists A’er Villagers Preserving A Thousand-year-old Stone Tower

Qiang people is perhaps one of the most courageous and legendary people in the world. The rich cultural heritage of Qiang people has contributed to the cultural diversity of the mankind. At the same time, it has also become the important driving force for the region’s sustainable development.

A Shaman of the A’er Village


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Can NGOs Change the Status of Cultural Heritage Protection in China? The Case of CHP as an Example

(by Wang Yunxia & He Shuzhong, Realising Cultural Heritage Law,

A collection of essays edited by Lyndel V. Prott, Institute of Art and Law, 2013)
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