No need to travel to England to see Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s New Place as the two homes will be recreated in the People’s Republic of China.
Under an exclusive cooperation agreement signed today, 28 September, by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Fuzhou Culture and Tourism Investment Company Ltd., China will build the newest literary attraction.
The recreation of Shakespeare’s homes in China is part of the San Weng (which translates as Three Masters) project, a new international heritage and cultural centre near Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province, South China, that will feature three great literary figures of East and West – Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Tang Xianzu, the region’s own renowned playwright. The new town is expected to open in 2020.
Nestled among the green hills, clear waters and hot springs of Linchuan District, San Weng will cover a total area of 220 acres, encompassing a theatre park, tourism and leisure zones. Shakespeare, Cervantes and Tang Xianzu were contemporaries of their age (coincidentally they all died in 1616), though they never met.
As well as the Stratford quarter, there will be a Spanish Alcala quarter and an ancient Chinese village. Construction is underway and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust team will visit the site on 29 September.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites and collections in the playwright’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It will provide its expert authority as the consultant to the project to faithfully reproduce two of the famous Shakespeare family homes.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will provide historical and contemporary data for the design and construction of the original houses, together with expert guidance on traditional building methods and materials, and support for exhibition content and presentation. It will have the approval of all stages of design, build and interpretation.
Peter Kyle, chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “This innovative, two-way partnership will significantly advance our charitable objective to promote worldwide the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works life and times. By providing our knowledge and expertise to help the Fuzhou team to create an authentic spirit of the place, we will enable more of our ongoing work here in the UK to conserve, sustain and share the extraordinary Shakespeare legacy in our care.
“Millions of people who might never have the opportunity to visit our global Shakespeare centre in Stratford-upon-Avon will now have a chance to enrich their connection with Shakespeare in China.”
“Shakespeare speaks to all humanity, transcending borders and barriers”
“Shakespeare speaks to all humanity, transcending borders and barriers, and he is a powerful ambassador for the growing cultural, creative and tourism ties between the UK and China. We are grateful to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the British Consulate team in China, the British Council and the Chinese Embassy for their consistent support for this project.”