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From: Xinhua 2009-12-18 15:16:00
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NW China province plans to reinforce major Tibetan monastery

Authorities in northwest China's Qinghai Province Friday revealed plans to reinforce a major monastery to better preserve the 600-year-old complex for Tibetan Buddhists and tourists.

The plan, announced by the provincial government Friday, was subject to approval from State Administration of Cultural Heritage, said Pu Tianbiao, deputy head of the Qinghai provincial cultural heritage bureau.

Pu could not tell when the repair work would begin, because the underdeveloped province was expecting funding from the state treasury for the work on the Taer Monastery, one of the six largest monasteries of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

Under the provincial government plan, 34 halls and 35 residences of the monastery's Living Buddhas would be reinforced and refurbished, including the replacement of decayed woodwork, damaged floors, walls and the failed sewage system, he said.

Authorities would adopt state-of-the-art technologies to restore the frescos and other religious paintings, for which the Taer Monastery is famous.

Pu gave no budget for the project.

Taer Monastery, perched atop the Lotus Hills in Huangzhong County, 26 kilometers from the provincial capital, Xining, and 2,000 km from Lhasa, was built in 1379 in memory of Tzongkaba (1357-1419), founder of the Yellow Sect.

The 40-hectare complex is noted for the architectural brilliance of its halls and rooms and about 20,000 religious paintings, appliques and yak butter sculptures.

The monastery has suffered damage from fires, earthquakes, landslides and foundation subsidence over the past centuries and undergone three major repairs in the past 20 years, financed by the central government and donations.

Taer Monastery received about 800,000 pilgrims and tourists a year, said Gyungnyi, an official with the monastery's executive committee.

Qinghai Province, inhabited by more than 1 million Tibetans, has the second largest Tibetan population after Tibet Autonomous Region. It has 627 monasteries.

[editor : ]
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