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Treasured Stone Inscriptions Being Removed from Three Gorges Cliffs

Relocation of stone inscriptions at Qutangxia Gorge will not affect tourism in the Three Gorges area, an official said here Sunday.

Wang Wei, tourism director of Fengjie County in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, said that the relocation will better preserve the stone inscriptions and retain the cultural feature ofthe spectacular gorge scene, which has inspired many Chinese poets.

While the ancient inscriptions are being removed from the cliffs, archaeologists are busy excavating ancient city sites dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) in a nearby tourist attraction of Beidicheng on the Yangtze River.

The relocation and excavation are both part of the Chinese government's ambitious plan to protect 1,087 cultural relics from being inundated in the construction of the Three Gorges project, the world's largest water control project.

Many experts have been invited to re-design the Three Gorges region so as to best protect the treasured cultural heritages in the area.

"We can not afford to lose the heritages that constitute an important part of Chinese culture and history," said Lu Huijie, the manager in charge of the project to relocate and protect the stone inscriptions. Enditem

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2002)

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