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Tibetan Epic Hero's Statute Erected in Sichuan
A huge bronze statue of King Gesser has been erected in Dege County of southwest China's Sichuan province, which is said to be the birthplace of the legendary Tibetan hero.

The 10.8-meter high, 3.8-ton statue took six months to complete.

More than 2,000 Tibetan herdsmen attended the inaugural ritual of the statue. To the accompaniment of traditional Tibetan music and drums, a local Living Buddha presented a hada, a silk scarf symbolizing highest respect, to the statue. A group of lamas circled the monument, scattering highland barley and reciting Buddhist scriptures.

Many of the audience had ridden horseback more than 50 kilometers to worship at the statue. "This will bring good fortune to us," said herdsman Zhaxi Qoizhoin.

Gong Jianzhong, the county magistrate, said that the erection of the statue was part of the celebrations for the thousandth anniversary of the world's longest epic poem, King Gesser.

The poem, which tells the story of the ancient Tibetan king conquering devils and safeguarding Tibet's prosperity, has been referred to as the "Eastern Iliad".

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2002)

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