CUSTODIANS of Shakespeare’s legacy will be helping spread the word in China.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has offically signed an agreement to help create ‘Stratford Little Town’ 6,000 miles away from the Avon in the south eastern capital of Fuzhou City.
The Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company Ltd.
‘Stratford Little Town’ will be part of a new international heritage and cultural centre, which will include replicas of Shakespeare’s Birthplace and his final home at New Place, along with Holy Trinity Church and imitations of some of the town’s historic streets.
Contemporaries of the playwright including Chinese writer Tang Xianzu and Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, best known for writing Don Quixote, will also be honoured in the new town of San Weng – meaning the three masters.
Visits by Chinese tourists to England have risen over the past years and the new centre could draw even more visitors to the Bard’s home town.
And the team in Stratford has pledged its help the Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company Ltd to ensure the replica buildings faithfully represent the originals.
Trust deputy chief executive Philippa Rawlinson said: “We are delighted to enter this agreement to co-operate as partners in this exciting project to bring Shakespeare’s family homes to life for visitors.
“Our mission as a charity is to promote the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times worldwide.
“While China is an important growth market for in-bound tourism to the five Shakespeare homes and gardens in Stratford, this project will enable millions more people who might never have the opportunity to visit us in the UK the chance to explore our shared Shakespeare heritage in China.
“By providing our knowledge and expertise to help the Fuzhou team to create an authentic spirit of place, we will be able to support our work to not only maintain and preserve the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites and collections here in the UK, but also continue to promote the enjoyment of Shakespeare’s works, life and times around the globe.”