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From: China Tibet Online 2014-01-14 11:52:00
by: Lethe Guo
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Several typical historical relics survive Shangri-la fire

Only several typical historical relics in Dukezong have survived the big fire of Shangri-la, including the scripture hall in the Daguishan Park, the Red Army Cultural Exposition Centre, the historical tribunal in the Dukezong town, and the Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Museum, according to Chinanews.com

The Shangri-la fire that started on Jan.11 has destroyed two thirds of the Dukezong town in Shangri-la County, which is known for its well-preserved Tibetan dwellings, and is a popular tourist destination.

The ancient Dukezong town is barely recognizable after the fire, which is still under investigation.

"Among all the bad news, it is really comforting to know that the historical tribunal in the Dukezong town survived the fire," said Li Gang, director of the Cultural Relics Management Office of Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

The historical tribunal in the Dukezong town is merely 50 meter away from the fire. Dated back to 1724, the tribunal used to the town-hall for local Tibetans to hold official meetings, assembly, and religious activities. It was enlisted as national key cultural relic preservation site in 1996.

In order to protect the survival cultural relics from the fire, fire-fighters have dug out fire barriers around all the key sites.

After the fire, related departments have carried out fire hazard examinations on all cultural relic protection sites in the autonomous prefecture. Meanwhile, they would also clean out well-kept articles of historical value from the burned relics, and try to repair.

Lesson: "exploitation of ancient towns should remember the importance of protecting traditional living space"

According to Li Gang, local traditional dwellings contain ancestral survival idea and wisdom: leaving enough building space to prevent and fight fire; yet, the overdevelopment of this ancient town led to a dense residential distribution, which caused a fire risk regardless of economic benefit.

Zhang Zhijun, deputy governor of Dechen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, said the Dukezong town hadn't seen such a big fire in history according to documents and senior people's accounts.

"The fire is an alarm to us. We need to pay closer attention to the preservation of traditional living space among the old dwellings while developing ancient towns," said Li Gang, director of the prefecture's office of cultural relic's management.

[editor : ]
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