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Thursday, November 5, 2009 - 19:30

The Great Wall: A Tale Told by Two Williams

William Lindesay, O.B.E.

United Nations
Lianheguo Zhongxin Sanlitun 2 Liangmahe Nan Lu

This is a tale of two Williams, their lives separated by more than a century, but whose destinies are intertwined through their abiding fascination with one of the pinnacles of human achievement, the Great Wall of China.

Our speaker, William Lindesay, is one of the world's leading authorities on the Great Wall.

William Geil (1865-1925) was the first man to travel along the Great Wall from one end to the other.

This talk will feature how William Lindesay has sought to realize the legacy of William Geil through his carefully re-photographed traverse of the Great Wall, demonstrating with dramatic evidence how and why the Great Wall has changed during times of great upheaval throughout the 20th century.

William Lindesay has recently launched the exhibition The Great Wall Revisited at Beijing's Imperial College & Temple of Confucius Museum of the newly discovered diaries, photographs and artifacts belonging to William Geil; he has published a book of the same title (China Intercontinental Press, 2007; Harvard University Press (US), 2008; Frances Lincoln Publishers (UK), 2008).

Mr. Lindesay has lived in China for 20 years and is the founder of the conservation society International Friends of the Great Wall. In 2006, he was awarded the rank of O.B.E. (Officer, Order of the British Empire) for his conservation of the Great Wall of China by H. M. Queen Elizabeth II.