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William Lindesay is an authoritative voice on Great Wall conservation issues. Described by the World Monuments Fund as “the world’s leading advocate for the Great Wall’s protection,” the UK native is a prolific author and speaker, and a frequent media commentator and contributor.
Lindesay studied geography and geology at Liverpool University and in 1987 made what China’s official news agency described as “the most successful foreign exploration of the Great Wall.” He recounted his 2,470-km solo adventure in Alone on the Great Wall, published internationally. Since 1994 he has systematically researched the Great Wall in the Beijing region.
On October 1, 1998–China’s National Day–the government recognized Lindesay’s on-going efforts to protect the Great Wall’s natural surroundings with a Friendship Medal.
In 2001, he founded International Friends of the Great Wall as a society in Hong Kong to “assist China’s cultural-relics protection authorities in the task of preserving the authenticity of the Great Wall.” In 2002, on behalf of that organization, Lindesay signed “A Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation of Beijing’s Great Wall for the Perpetuation of China’s Cultural and Natural Heritage” with the Beijing Bureau for Cultural Relics. That same year, he and the Bureau helped add the cultural landscape of Beijing’s Great Wall to the World Monuments Fund’s 2002 List of the World’s Most 100 Endangered Sites.
In 2003, Lindesay published Images of Asia: The Great Wall with Oxford University Press (OUP) and in 2006 was awarded the rank of O.B.E. (Officer, Order of the British Empire) for his conservation work. In 2007, he curated The Great Wall Revisited exhibition at the Capital Museum in Beijing and published a book of the same title with China Intercontinental Press.
Lindesay has lectured to diverse audiences including the Explorers Club in New York, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, and the American Institute of Archaeology AGM in San Francisco. “Walking on the Wall with William Lindesay” has been listed as one of the Top 50 travel experiences of a lifetime by Conde Nast Traveller (UK); over the years, he has escorted many VIP guests.
Learn more about William Lindesay: http://wildwall.com/