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  回忆罗哲文先生 - 威廉.林赛(英)
 
     
 

     我第一次与罗哲文先生“相识”是1986年,在英国伦敦,具体地说是在大英博物馆对面的狭窄巷子里的一个不起眼的书店里。一本《万里长城》上面署名罗哲文的英文版画册拉近了我和他的距离。罗先生主编的这本画册,文字儒雅,图片精彩;无论从文物角度还是学术角度,对我进入“长城领域”,以及作为我后半生的研究学科,都具有重要的意义。

a      为罗哲文先生献花  

     这本书现在与其他有关长城的书籍一道,摆放在我书架明显的位置上。这是中国向西方介绍长城的学术研究成果的最初的、不多的英文版画册。当时我买下这本画册的时候,并没有想到,在日后会亲自见到罗先生;更没有想到,我还时时处处得到他的指导和点拨。

     我第一次见到罗先生本人,是在1995年。那时,BBC的一档电视节目的制片人将我俩召集到一起,谈论有关长城的话题。我先谈自己是如何与长城结缘的,主要谈我1987年初来乍到,探险长城的经历;罗先生讲述长城的历史和向世界展示长城的意义。罗先生那时已经70出头,但行动非常敏捷,步履矫健地在黄花城上一走就是几公里。

     BBC的摄制组的人都被他这种“精气神”所感染。我们一起造访长城敌楼,研究长城石碑,一起在杂草丛生的马道上趟路。他尊尊教诲:“长城看得越多,理解她才能越深”。这就是我这些年来研究长城的座右铭。

     1998年,我组织了第一个“登长城捡垃圾”的活动。我们带领100个中外志愿者和20几个媒体人。这个活动从各个角度看都十分成功。当然,首先我们清除了金山岭上的垃圾;各大报刊都在头版刊登了这一消息。然而,最为成功的是我们获得了像罗先生这样的老专家的参与和支持。他不但谈论长城的保护,而且亲身投入其中。他身着印有“除了照片什么都不要带走,除了脚印什么都不要留下”的文化衫,一副劳动手套,肩扛一个垃圾袋…那天,他不仅是我们的顾问,而且是“国际长城之友”协会雏形的领头人。

     我妻子吴琪和两个儿子杰米和汤米,时常去拜访罗先生。他住在安定门附近的一个简朴的居所里。从2004年起,我开始收集长城老照片,按图索骥,重摄长城。罗先生给予了全力的支持。他不仅帮助我辨别老照片的拍摄地点和拍摄位置,还打电话给他在长城沿线的朋友和同事来帮助我;他还提供自己在做梁思成先生学生时候去古北口拍摄的长城照片。如果说“万里长城 百年回望”项目是成功的话,很大程度上应当归功于罗先生对长城的激情和对我们不懈的支持。

     今天,我和妻子吴琪获悉这一噩耗,深感悲痛。中国的万里长城和很多其它宝贵的遗产,失去了一个文物保护的提倡者和实践者。同时也觉得我们得到过罗先生的智慧、善良和支持的确是一大幸事。他是我所结识的、过着有质量的生活的榜样。很多人只是考虑他们的寿命有多长,而罗先生考虑的是活着的质量有多高。每次想与他通电话,他不是出差,就是开会。我最后一次见到他是在2011年秋天,那是我刚从蒙古国探险,寻找中国境外的长城归来。

     罗先生虽然离开了我们,但是他像年轻人一样的精神总是激励着我们这些热爱中国历史和文化,愿意将薪火传递下去的人。我能与罗先生这样一个伟人如此近距离地接触深感荣幸,他的音容笑貌和博才多识永远激励着我。

     2012年5月15日 于北京顺义

Fond Memories of Luo Zhewen

     I first ‘met’ Luo Zhewen in a bookshop, in a narrow street opposite the British Museum in central London. The meeting was akin to be unearthing a treasure, for his book, in evocative language and spectacular photography, introduced me to the Wall, the object and subject that was set to fascinate and occupy me for the rest of my life.

     There on a shelf of books focussing on China was a large volume called ‘The Great Wall’, by a collaboration of international authors led by Luo Zhewen. I have just retrieved the book from a shelf in my study, for it’s always taken pride of place among many scores of book on the same subject. When I bought the book, I never imagined that on day I would meet the eminent man, let alone meet him often, and even less so be guided and advised by him.

     The Great Wall, and many other of the country’s great historical treasures, have lost their first protector, Luo Zhewen.

     Heritage is the story of the past, a country’s past, of mankind’s past, your past and my past. It’s our responsibility to pass on this wonderful past to our futures, our children. But it is only preserved by pioneers, and Luo Zhewen was the pioneer of historical protection in China.

     I met Luo Zhewen in person, for the first time, in 1995, when a BBC TV program producer brought us together to talk about the Great Wall. I was starring as the ‘adventure’ component, talking about my long expedition of 1987, while Luo Zhewen was telling the audience about the Wall’s history, and its significance to the world. Luo Zhewen was in his early 70s then, and strode comfortably up a narrow, overgrown mountain path ascending a section of Wild Wall a couple of kilometres east of the An-Si Lu that passes through the Huanghuacheng section.

     I remember how the BBC crew praised him that day, amazed at a pensioner’s tenacity and spirit. We visited an engraved tablet, a watchtower, and walked along the overgrown battlements. I remember Luo Zhewen telling me to ‘see more of the Wall, understand more of the Wall’, which I’ve always maintained as my guideline to learning.

     Just a few years later, in 1998, I organized the first public activity to pick up garbage at the Great Wall. We headed to Jinshanling, with 100 volunteers and 20 journalists. That event was successful on many fronts. Yes, we pickup up I don’t know how many tens of kilograms of garbage. And yes, the journalists wrote their stories, that even made the front pages. But it was a successful, milestone event because we had the support of Luo Zhewen. He not only spoke about the overdue need to keep the Wall clean, as an indication of our care for it in the face of the many threats that it was beginning to face, but he set an example. Aged more than 70 at the time, he wore our T-Shirt, put on gloves and seized a bag and was stooping down to fill his bag. That day he turned into not only an advisor, but the leading figurehead of a group of concerned-for-Wall individuals that eventually became known as ‘International Friends of the Great Wall’.

     My wife Wu Qi, and I, sometimes with our children Jimmy and Tommy, often visited Luo Zhewen in his modest abode near Andingmen. From 2004 I had started to rephotograph the Great Wall. Luo Zhewen strongly supported the idea and indeed believed that recording changes at the Wall with the technique of rephotography was indeed a useful formula for influencing a better future for the Wall. He contributed his own photos, taken at Gubeikou when he was a student of Liang Sicheng in the late 1940s. He helped identify many locations where some of the old photos had been taken. He picked up his telephone and called his contacts in Shanhaiguan. Lanzhou and Jiayuguan, asking his friends to help in the search when I went there. He called officials in the bureaus, urging their support, asking for exhibition venues to show off our results. Much of the “Great Wall Revisited’ project’s success was due to his enthusiastic, tireless support.

     Today, hearing of the news that Luo Zhewen has passed away, my wife, Wu Qi, and I feel fortunate to have benefitted from his support, wisdom and kindness. He was the best example I know of living a quality life. Many people are concerned how long they will live. Luo Zhewen lived long by living a quality life. It was always astounding to us that when we telephoned him he was so often out of town, inspecting a site, attending a meeting. I saw him for what would turn out to be the last time last autumn, soon after my return from Mongolia, where I had been researching a section of ‘Great Wall Outside China’.

     Luo Zhewen has passed away, he’s gone, but his youthful spirit will always be with those who love China’s history, and especially those who feel it worth dedicating their lives or even just doing a little to care for its future. We feel thankful to have known this great man so closely. He will always be an inspiration.

 
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    罗哲文  
    管桦  
    刘培植  
    詹天佑  
    芮杏文  
    杨义碧  
    梁树年  
    潘田  
    马克坚  
    张秉贵  
    马萧萧  
    任宝贤  
    杨承宗  
    李慧芳  
     
 
 
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