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World Heritage Status Proposed for China's Declining Han Opera

WUHAN, August 29 -- Experts of China's declining Han Opera (or Hubei Opera) plans to seek World Heritage status from the United Nations in a bid to protect the opera from extinction.

Fang Yuefang, a famous screenwriter of the opera, said several Han Opera troupes in central China's Hubei Province have been disbanded or incorporated into other troupes in the past few years, due to shrinking market demands.

The audience of the opera in Hubei and neighboring Hunan Province has been decreasing rapidly in the past decade, said the screenwirter.

Fang and some other experts are preparing for the application to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

With a history of about 400 years, the opera originated in the Hanjiang River Valleys in Hubei Province.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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