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Historic torii damaged in Beijing
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Workers pick off the tablet of Guozijian from the damaged crossbeam on Saturday, February 23, 2008, after the torii was dismasted by a rooter. [Photo: The Beijing News]

A historic torii standing on the street in front of Guozijian in Beijing, once the imperial college in China's olden dynasties, was severely damaged by a rampageous rooter Saturday.

The Beijing News reported on Sunday that the bottom crossbeam, hanging the tablet of Guozijian, was dismasted by the vehicle trying to pass through the gateway before the accident occurred.

Traffic police shut down the street later and repair workers erected the scaffold under the gate for further repair work.

Police said the driver will be fined for offending the regulation banning large vehicles driving through the street.

The torii was first built during the period of the Republic of China and renovated in 2002, according to an official with the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage.

The official, surnamed Wang, said the repair work will cost not more than 100,000 yuan and be completed as soon as possible.

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