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Special funds earmarked to protect Tibet cultural relics
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China has earmarked 570 million yuan (US$78.5 million) for the preservation of 22 historical and cultural relics in the southwestern Tibet Autonomous Region.

The funds will be directed at 15 monasteries under state-level protection and seven historical sites proving the rule over Tibet by central governments in Chinese history, said Nyi'ma Cering, Tibet Regional Cultural Heritage Bureau director.

The project will start this year and last until 2010.

"The preservation efforts will be focused on the Jokhang, Ramogia, Sanyai and Samgya-Goutog monasteries this year, with an input of 50 million yuan from the Ministry of Finance," he said.

The latest move to protect Tibet's cultural and religious relics came after another preservation project of 330 million yuan on Potala Palace, Sagya Monastery and Norbu Lingka Palace. These began in 2002 and were expected to be finished this year.

Over the past two decades, the central and local governments have invested more than 700 million yuan in total in the preservation and maintenance of historical and cultural relics in Tibet. This covered more than 1,400 monasteries, cultural relics and religious sites.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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