Over history Macao has been an important gateway through which western civilization entered China; for hundreds of years this piece of land has nurtured a symbiosis of cultural exchange, shaping the unique identity of Macao.

“The Historic Centre of Macao” is living testimony to the assimilation and continued co-existence of eastern and western cultures over a unique chapter in history. It stands witness to successful East-West cultural pluralism, reflecting China’s persistent openness to the influx of western cultural concepts throughout that historic timeframe; it is the fruit of mutual respect and tolerance between different cultures and civilizations. Its value lies not only in the completeness of the architectural and urban infrastructures, but also in the fact that these have retained their original function and spirit to the present day. As an integral part of the city’s life, the conservation of “The Historic Centre of Macao” is crucial to the local community, while on a broader context, it represents a part of Chinese and world history, which, due to its historic and cultural significance must be preserved.

“The Historic Centre of Macao” has now been inscribed on the World Heritage List, making it the 31st designated World Heritage site in China. This international recognition will further raise community awareness and foster an appreciation of heritage values, thus providing a positive influence on future urban redevelopment programmes that will evolve in line with heritage conservation.

Through continued promotion and public education, locals have expanded their knowledge and deepened their understanding of Macao’s role in Chinese and world history. Their sense of ownership and pride in the city’s heritage reflects a recognition of Macao’s origins, its civilization and the context that has nurtured this development.

As of the day of listing, the people of Macao are entrusted by the world to ensure the protection of “The Historic Centre of Macao”. We as a community are now more accountable than ever in this duty. This shared responsibility calls for the constant support and cooperation of all of Macao’s citizens and government departments. By working together, we are sure to achieve our goal of protecting that which is of unique value to the world.

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