Famous historical-cultural towns, villages, and heritage structures will be protected from destructive transformation or damage in a wave of accelerated urbanization, according to recently issued preservation methods in Zhuhai.
Heritage structures refer to those that are more than 30 years old but haven't been recognized as cultural heritage protection units or immovable cultural heritages.
They should reflect Zhuhai's development, historic culture and folk customs, and be of scientific research value. This depends upon appearance, structure, materials, techniques, and technology showcasing regional architectural characteristics, or commemorative significance in that they relate to important historical events, revolutionary movements, or famous historical figures. Landmark buildings, signature works by famous architects, or city infrastructures and gardens with cultural and historic value can also be recognized.
Those less than 30 years old but falling under any of above-mentioned categories, and significantly reflecting regional characteristics in certain times, can also qualify.
A heritage building [Photos courtesy Southern Metropolis Daily]
Towns, villages, and structures reported to have conservation value will enjoy a pre-preservation period of up to 12 months upon experts' confirmation, during which it will be strictly forbidden to transform, damage, or demolish them.
Units or people liable for the protection of historic buildings can apply to the district government for a subsidy amounting to at least 20 percent of renovation and repair fees. However, if they fail to perform the protection responsibility and serious consequences arise, the units and individuals may be fined 50,000 to 100,000 yuan ($7,314 to $14,628), and 10,000 to 50,000 yuan ($1,463 to $7,314) respectively.
People who paint or deface historic buildings will be subject to punishment. Anyone demolishing or removing heritage structures without authorization will be required to restore them to their original state at their own expense. Units and individuals can also be fined up to 500,000 yuan ($73,115) and 200,000 yuan ($29,245), respectively.
Individuals that move or alter protection signboards near heritage structures without authorization will be fined 1,000 yuan ($146) to 10,000 yuan ($1,463).
Public opinion is being solicited on the preservation methods.
Quick facts: Zhuhai is home to two national famous historical and cultural towns (Doumen and Tangjiawan), one provincial famous village (Beishan), and 22 municipal famous villages. It recognized its first group of 23 heritage buildings in July 2015, and a further 30 heritage structures from the early period of Reform & Opening Up in February 2017.