Chinese opera star named Unesco Artist for Peace

Updated: May 24, 2011, 09:30 AM IST

Paris: Chinese opera star Zhang Jun has been selected as the Unesco Artist for Peace for his commitment to promoting Chinese Kunqu opera, the Paris-based UN agency has announced.

Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova will name Zhang during an official ceremony at the Unesco headquarters in Paris May 26, Xinhua reported citing a statement from the organisation.

Zhang would be the artist for peace for a period of two years.

Born in Shanghai in 1974, Zhang is a leading promoter of Kunqu, one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera.

Zhang also promotes programmes such as the Hope Project to build schools and improve education in China`s poorest areas.

Kunqu was developed under the Ming dynasty (14th-17th centuries) in Kunshan city in east China and is characterised by the combination of song, recitals and complex choreographic techniques.