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Experts seeking site for monument to May 12 quake victims
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Experts began a three-day study on Tuesday to choose a site for a memorial to mark the devastating May 12 earthquake.

"We plan to visit the worst-hit regions, such as Dujiangyan, Mianzhu, Shifang, Beichuan and Qingchuan, to decide on the site of the earthquake museum," said Xu Rongxuan, vice head of the Sichuan provincial department of culture and head of the provincial bureau of cultural heritage.

According to Xu, a monument, memorial hall and museum will be built along the 300-km Longmen fracture, which links the counties at the quake epicenter -- Wenchuan and Beichuan.

"This memorial will show the true history of the May 12 earthquake," he said.

Experts from the provincial bureau of cultural heritage have started to gather items related to the earthquake, such as photos and the personal effects of the victims, including school bags, said Gao Dalun, head of the provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology.

"We will faithfully record the stories behind the mementoes, which will require joint efforts from volunteers," he added.

The magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck southwestern Sichuan Province and neighboring regions had killed 69,107 people and injured 373,577 as of Tuesday noon. It also left 18,230 others missing and millions homeless.

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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