Some 20 million yuan (about 2.4 million U.S. dollars) will be spent to repair tombs of Jingjiang Kingdom, one of 25 vassal states of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The tombs, located in Guilin, one of China's most popular tourist destinations in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China, cover 100 square kilometers and have 316 separate mausoleums. They are the largest and best preserved tombs from the Ming Dynasty, according to Zhang Yiming, an official with the administration of tombs of Jingjiang state.
Owners of the tombs include kings of Jingjiang state from different periods of time, royal clansmen and their relatives.
Tan Fasheng, an expert on cultural relics, said the tombs of Jingjiang state is of great significance as these tombs offer hard-to-find historical objects for research on the vassal state system in Ming Dynasty.
Bearing unique styles and a great variety of stone engravings, the tombs abound in articles for burial, including many flower vases. But some of the tombs are damaged by flooding or human activities.
The repair will include the construction of a new museum to display the articles unearthed from the tombs. The entire repairing work will take five years to finish, said Zhang.
(People’s Daily 11/26/2000)