N China city launches competition for cultural relic site introductions

TAIYUAN, April 10 (Xinhua) — Authorities in the north China city of Taiyuan have launched a competition to solicit written introductions for cultural relic sites in an effort to encourage the public to participate in cultural heritage protection.
With a history of 2,500 years, Taiyuan, capital of coal-rich Shanxi Province, has 540 cultural relic sites under various levels of government protection.
Yet among the 215 sites open to the public, 166 have no written introduction for visitors, according to the Taiyuan Cultural Heritage Bureau.
The competition is aimed at mobilizing the public to understand the value of cultural relics and enhance awareness of their protection, an official from the bureau said Monday.
Researchers, history buffs, and college students, amongst others, can submit their written introductions via the WeChat account of the city's heritage bureau, the city government website or the city's official news website by the end of May.
A panel of experts will review submissions and choose the best introduction for each of the 166 sites. Some 25 introductions will be selected in a variety of categories to win prizes of up to 10,000 yuan (1,587 U.S. dollars), and winners will be able to visit any of the city's relic sites that are open to the public with two companions free of charge for one year.
The city will make the selected introduction for each site available for use by tour guides and will have audio guides available for visitors at some sites. It also plans to organize a speech contest, and compile and publish a book of the selected introductions.
The activity is part of program promoting study and communication about cultural relic sites implemented by China Foundation For Cultural Heritage Conservation.
Source: Xinhua