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Face-lift on Duobao Buddhist Pagoda completed
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Duobao Buddhist pagoda in Xiangfan city, Hubei province

Duobao Buddhist pagoda in Xiangfan city is a national treasure. But like most cultural edifices dating back hundreds of years, renovations are necessary to maintain the original elegance. The latest overhaul of the Duobao Buddhist Pagoda in central China's Hubei province is complete now.

The scaffold is being dismantled as workers complete the work inside and add finishing touches tthe foundations.

The pagoda boasts 45 statues of the Buddha, both inside and outside. That's where it gets its name, Duobao Buddhist Pagoda, the pagoda of many Buddhas. This is one of only seven pagodas of its kind that survive in China today.

The pagoda has undergone two large renovations previously. The first took place during the Qing dynasty. The second came during the 1980s. But pottery and even cement were applied to the statues during the last renovations. Unexpectedly, these materials accelerated the weathering of the statues.

Twenty small Buddhist statues were repaired during the latest project. According to the on-site expert, the material for the work came from the kind of bricks used to build walls during the Song Dynasty.

The Duobao Buddhist Pagoda will reopen to the public in about a month.

(CCTV March 28,2008)

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