China opera star named UNESCO envoy

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UN cultural body UNESCO has named Chinese opera star Zhang Jun as an "artist for peace" envoy, it said on Monday.

The honour recognises Shanghai-born Zhang's "long-term commitment to promoting intangible cultural heritage, especially the Kunqu Opera," a form of opera and dance dating to the 14th century and classified by UNESCO, it said.

"As UNESCO Artist for Peace, Zhang Jun will help raise national and international awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage and its safeguarding, including Kunqu Opera," it added in a statement.

He was due to be invested for the two-year role at a ceremony on Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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