East China's historical city Nanjing, with more than 6,000 years of civilization, is busy preparing China's first World Historical and Cultural Cities Expo scheduled on Saturday.
Xu Ning, spokeswoman of the Nanjing municipal government, told Xinhua the exposition, with 58 activities in a week, has attracted mayor-level officials from 21 world historical and cultural cities, among which 10 came from abroad and 11 from China. They will attend various activities including a Forum of Mayors on topics like heritage protection and development.
The ten foreign cities include Leipzig, St. Petersburg, Daejeon, Barcelona, Melbourne, Melaka, Vienna, Florence, Kyoto and Nagoya. The Chinese cities include Zhengzhou, Kaifeng, Chengde, Lijiang, Pingyao, Beijing, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Luoyang and Anyang
"So many delegates attending the event demonstrated the expo has drawn attention from the world, and the Chinese side is attaching more and more importance to cultural heritage protection," Xu said. She stressed delegates to the meeting also include Chinese ministerial officials and experts in the field, which will play an positive role in pushing forward policy making in the cultural industry and the exchange of experience on heritage protection.
Apart from exchange activities, the expo will also give performance and hold mass activities such as a reading festival. A beauty contest for city image will choose the new "Twelve beauties of Nanjing," famous figures from the Chinese literature classic A Dream in Red Mansions.
Foreign musicians and dancers from Russia, Austria, and Germany are also invited to the expo. Xu said she hopes this feast will further culturally enlighten Nanjing citizens and forge Nanjing's brand as world-class historical and cultural city.
(Xinhua News Agency May 1, 2004)