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Chinese cultural relic protection efforts bring new luster to ancient city of Khiva, Uzbekistan

The ancient city of Khiva is located in Uzbekistan’s Xorazm region. It has been an important stop along the Silk Road since at least the 4th Century. The ancient city was the first Uzbekistan cultural heritage site to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. People’s Daily Online reports that it has a rich history and vibrant culture.

Many heritage sites are located in Khiva. Some of these are in dire need of restoration. The cultural heritage protection center of China Railway Northwest Research Institute Co. Ltd. has undertaken the restoration of Khiva’s historical and cultural heritage sites as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

China Railway Northwest Research Institute Co. Ltd. sent Khiva a professional cultural heritage restoration team to inspect the city’s condition. They also collected various types of information by sampling, mapping, surveying and collecting data.

Chinese engineers discovered that surface water leakage, structural deformations, and other factors caused different degrees of sinking among buildings. This has resulted in slanted walls, cracks, and shattered domes at the mosque and theology school within the ancient city.


Worker repairs an ancient wall in the ancient city Khiva, Uzbekistan. (Photo/Zhou Peng)

The original construction of the mosque and the school of theology inside Khiva was done using unique engineering techniques. Because each restoration project is different, the Chinese engineers created protection plans that included new crafts and restoration methods.

Chinese engineers also use a minimal intervention approach to the restoration of historic buildings. They reinforce and repair them using sophisticated restoration technologies, which preserves the historical value of heritage sites.


The file photo shows the location of the restoration work in the ancient city Khiva, Uzbekistan. (Photo/Zhou Peng)

Khiva, an ancient city, has been destroyed more than 40 times throughout history. The construction of the BRI has brought new life to this ancient city. This restoration project has given new life to the cultural heritage and has also been a demonstration of cooperation in the protection of cultural heritage sites along The Silk Road.

The file photo shows the location of the restoration work in the ancient city Khiva, Uzbekistan. (Photo/Zhou Peng)

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