Protection and management of world cultural heritage in Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes are located in Luoyang City, Henan Province, which is a famous historical and cultural city. Their grottoes are like honeycombs among cliff walls. Ancient stone carving art groups and beautiful natural scenery are reflected in each other. For more than 1500 years, it has inspired the admiration and worship of emperors and ordinary people with its Grand Royal statues and solemn ideological connotation. With the development of western field survey in the early 20th century, The historical and cultural value of Longmen Grottoes is gradually recognized by modern civilized society. In 2000, Longmen Grottoes was listed in the world heritage list by UNESCO. In 2007, Longmen Grottoes scenic area was rated as the first batch of 5A scenic areas by the National Tourism Administration, becoming a hot spot and boutique tourism

However, the circulation of time and the changes of society have left indelible traces in the grottoes. On the one hand, there are serious damages of natural factors in the grottoes, such as the collapse of the grottoes and the rock mass where they are located, the erosion of the walls and statues by rain, the weathering of mountains and sculptures, etc, On the other hand, the development of market economy and the establishment of new system have impacted the original heritage management system of our country, and the contradiction between heritage protection and development has become increasingly acute. Therefore, the problems faced by the protection and management of Longmen Grottoes are clarified, It has become an urgent task to find an effective way to protect and manage the cultural heritage of Longmen Grottoes, which is suitable for China’s national conditions. This paper intends to explore an effective way to protect and develop the cultural heritage of Longmen Grottoes from the current situation of protection and management

1. Brief introduction of Longmen Grottoes

Longmen Grottoes, founded in the Northern Wei Dynasty (493 A.D.), is located on the cliffs on both sides of the Yi River in the south of Luoyang City. It is a typical limestone field grotto Temple site, belonging to a large-scale open-air immovable stone cultural relics. There are more than 2300 grottoes, 2800 inscriptions and nearly 110000 statues, and more than 70 pagodas. It is one of the three major Buddhist art treasures and the first batch of national key cultural relics protection units, National scenic spot

2. Management system and sources of funds

2.1 Management organization and composition

At present, China’s management of world heritage has two major characteristics: first, it mainly adopts territorial management system, i.e. decentralization of management power; second, because different government departments are given different functions, there are many subjects of heritage management, and the interest relationship in protection and utilization is particularly complex, There has been a long-term competition and conflict of interest between various departments. Longmen Grottoes is no exception. In order to change the situation of multi management of Longmen Grottoes and further improve the level of scientific protection and management of Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang Municipal government decided in March 2002 on the basis of Longmen Grottoes Research Institute, The “Longmen Grottoes Research Institute” was established to realize the unified protection and management of Longmen Grottoes cultural relics

Longmen Grottoes administration bureau is a county-level institution directly under the leadership of Luoyang Municipal People’s government. It has six secondary institutions under its jurisdiction, including Grottoes protection center, Longmen Scenic Area Management Office, Baiyuan management office and Xiangshan temple management office. There are more than 70 existing personnel, including 7 research staff in the grottoes protection center, all graduated from the national regular institutions and two master’s degree students, The major covers environment, chemistry, cultural relics protection, geology and other disciplines

2.2 Source and distribution of funds

The main source of funds for the scenic spot is ticket revenue, which is basically not allocated by the superior financial department. In 1999, when applying for the world heritage project, Luoyang Municipal government invested nearly 200 million yuan to carry out large-scale renovation of the surrounding environment. UNESCO also donated 1.25 million US dollars for free, Help to further control the rock weathering, collapse, limestone slurry and other diseases

At present, the annual ticket revenue of Longmen Grottoes is about 60 million yuan. Take 2005 as an example, the ticket revenue is about 60 million yuan, the staff salaries and other expenses of Longmen Grottoes Administration (Research Institute) in 2005 are about 12 million yuan, the protection and maintenance expenses are 5 million yuan, the water and electricity expenses are about 1.5 million yuan, the office expenses are 6 million yuan, and other miscellaneous expenses are 8.05 million yuan, a total of 32.55 million yuan

3. Heritage protection

3.1 Formulation of protection regulations

Since the third meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh People’s Congress of Luoyang passed the regulations on the protection and management of Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang on April 14, 1999, the protection plan of Luoyang historical and cultural city and Longmen Grottoes area have been formulated and promulgated successively, In terms of laws, regulations and policies, the protection and management, tourism development, protection research and international exchange of Longmen Grottoes and their areas are supported and guaranteed.

3.2 Protection and maintenance

In the early days of reform and opening up, with the development of tourism, the number of visitors to Longmen Grottoes increased year by year. Moreover, due to unreasonable planning, small factories such as cement plants and lime kilns were built around Longmen Grottoes. The traffic, strong vibration, agitated dust and a large number of waste gas caused by the traffic, seriously eroded and damaged the Buddha statues in the scenic area. In addition, the water quality of the Yi River was polluted, It not only affects the image of the scenic spot, but also endangers the sculptures of Longmen Grottoes. In 2000, in order to declare the world heritage, Luoyang Municipal Party committee and the municipal government concentrated their efforts on the thorough treatment of the buildings with uncoordinated Grottoes environment, and even the Chinese Dragon Palace, an artificial landscape with an investment of more than 10 million yuan, was blasted. After the declaration of the world cultural heritage, the surrounding environment of Longmen Grottoes has changed greatly. At the same time, International cooperation for the protection and repair of cultural relics has also been carried out successively. From August 8 to 10, 2004, the “International Symposium on Longmen Grottoes” was held. More than 160 experts from home and abroad attended the meeting and actively discussed the protection of grottoes. In recent years, The cultural relics protection and restoration training and practice project jointly carried out by the Ministry of Commerce of the people’s Republic of China, the Institute of cultural relics of China and the Ministry of Commerce of Italy was launched in Longmen Grottoes. The relevant state departments successively invested 9 million yuan as supporting funds for this project, while Italy invested 1.44 million euros as funds for equipment purchase, training, scholarship, etc, Provide support and guarantee for the implementation of the project. These measures make the old landscape of Longmen Mountain look new. Longmen Grottoes and Xiangshan Baiyuan (Tomb of Bai Juyi) return to the former calm and glow with new luster. In terms of heritage safety management, the main Grottoes have been monitored 24 hours

4. Tourism development and utilization

4.1 Number of tourists and income

As a world cultural heritage, Longmen Grottoes attract a large number of tourists to visit every year. With the rapid development of tourism, the number of tourists received by Longmen Grottoes is increasing year by year, and showing a rapid growth trend

Tourism ticket revenue is the main revenue of Longmen Grottoes. Before the 1990s, the price of tourism tickets in Longmen Grottoes was very low, and there was a serious shortage of funds for management and protection. After the 1990s, the price of tickets has been adjusted many times. At present, it has been planned to increase from 80 yuan to 120-160 yuan each, and the ticket revenue has increased year by year, Stable source of income provides sufficient funds for the protection and management of grottoes

4.2 Construction of tourism facilities

The construction of Longmen Grottoes in terms of tourism facilities mainly includes the following aspects: the expansion, transformation and greening of Longmen avenue leading to the scenic area in the city have been completed, and a high-standard tourism channel has been built for Longmen Avenue with a length of 10.6km; the forest park with an area of ten thousand mu in Longmen Xishan has been built; the investment is over ten million yuan, It has established the technical defense and electronic access control system, scenic website and scenic management information system; opened the rest room for tourists, and built the supporting guide facilities; updated the guide facilities in time, improved the public information graphic symbols, and specially opened the disabled passage for the old, the sick and the disabled, Free wheelchairs, crutches, strollers, umbrellas and other supporting services were provided. In April 2007, with the approval of the State Administration of cultural heritage, the project of lighting Longmen Grottoes at night was completed with 4.8 million yuan and nearly 3000 lamps

4.3 Impact on local economy

Longmen Grottoes, as a key tourism destination of Henan Province and even the whole country, enjoy a high popularity in the country and the world. In recent years, with the further increase of international popularity and influence of Longmen Grottoes, more and more experts, scholars and tourists from home and abroad are attracted to Longmen Grottoes for research and tourism. The number of tourists to Longmen Grottoes is steadily increasing, At the same time, the tourism ticket income has greatly increased, which also plays a good role in the employment and income of the local people in the surrounding areas, and promotes the development of tourism, accommodation, catering, transportation industry and employment of personnel in Luoyang, and has produced good economic benefits.

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