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Old house guardians call for public attention

DISCOVER old unique buildings, capture the best images with a camera and submit it online -- architecture conservation authority and experts are encouraging the Chinese public to participating in historical building protection by contributing pictures online.

"The discovery of those excellent buildings can help experts and authorities better understand their cultural values and conduct emergency protections," said Wang Anshi, architecture protection expert who organized the first nation-wide Photography Competition of Historical Building Conversation.

Photographers from 20 provinces contributed about 10,300 pictures of old buildings across China during four months. Hundreds of participants gathered at an old protected architecture on Wukang Road, Xuhui District this morning, where the competition organizers and judges announced the winners.

The competition is hosted by Tongji University and other historical building conversation protection organizations.

Wang said the competition was meant to encourage residents and the governments to pay more attention to historical buildings, and he planned to hold the competition every year after the successful beginning.

The gold medal winner of this year's "significant discovery" went to Jiang Minglin, a professional photographer from Yunnan Province, for his piece "House of Lisu Clan".

His photo presented a clear picture of the unique wooden houses built by Yunnan's minority ethnic group, Lisu Clan. In the past 14 years, Jiang travelled around the province to picture different architectures of various clans.

But Jiang was not much excited when he got the prize, because he said many historical buildings that he had pictured with his camera had disappeared several years later due to lack of protection.

"I fear that next time I go to their clan again, the wooden house might have disappeared and replaced by normal concrete houses," said Jiang.

Zhang Yunbang, another organizer of the competition, told Shanghai Daily the next annual competition would likely be held in August next year.

He said people who discovered unique historical buildings may upload their photos online to the website,, or send their pictures to

The award-winning photos of the competition are being exhibited at No.393 Wukang Road till October 30. Open from 9am to 5pm.


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