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After 10 years, a plan to safeguard Macao’s heritage sites is nearly complete

The government’s long-awaited heritage management and preservation plan still needs UNESCO approval, but is slated to come into effect at the start of June 2024.

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After review by the Executive Council, the long-awaited Plan for the Protection and Management of Macao’s Historic Centre is set to come into effect on 1 June, multiple media outlets have reported

The plan officially establishes three categories of site within the World Heritage-listed area: “visual corridors” (11), “picturesque streets” (19) and “urban fabric zones” (24). 

Separate sets of guiding principles have been formulated for each. 

Members of the architecture and cultural heritage sectors have expressed approval of the plan, saying that it will better regulate protection and restoration works carried out in the historic centre.

[See more: Conservationists say not enough is being done to protect the Guia Lighthouse]

The 22 buildings that make up the area will now be subject to “clear and concrete construction restrictions” in line with their cultural value, said Cultural Bureau president Leong Wai Man.

The government began developing these principles during its first round of public consultations back in 2014.  Subsequent discussions have taken place with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the World Heritage Center, said the Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong.

Cheong also noted that the plan could be further amended before coming into force. The final version still needs UNESCO approval.

Macao’s Historic Centre earned World Heritage status in 2005 and is hailed for its unique architectural merging of Portuguese and Chinese cultures.

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