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Sichuan heritage restoration begins
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Restoration of ancient buildings and other cultural relics damaged in the Sichuan earthquake is under way. The central government has allocated 30 million yuan ($4.38 million) toward the restoration, Sichuan Daily reported yesterday.

The Sichuan provincial administration of cultural heritage said 79 of the province's 128 heritage sites under State protection were damaged in Wenchuan county.

It said 169 heritage sites under provincial protection were also damaged.

The sites contain museums, heritage protection and management institutes, archaeology research institutes, four historical villages, and 1,645 cultural relic items, the administration said.

Archaeological experts and technicians from the State administration of cultural heritage in Beijing, the provinces of Shaanxi and Jiangxi, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have been working since last month on the restoration.

"Our institute is restoring the ancient building of Qingcheng Mountain, which is listed as a world cultural heritage, and three other buildings at the State protection level - Langzhong Yong'an temple, Langzhong Wulgong temple and the Mianzhu Jiannanchun Tianyi wine cellar," Zhou Ping, director of the Shaanxi provincial ancient building design institute, told China Daily yesterday.

The restoration team has completed a survey of the buildings, and work will commence shortly, Zhou said.

Sichuan plans to restore and reconstruct the cultural heritage of the Qiang people within three years with the support from the central government and other provinces.

(China Daily September 5, 2008)

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