Beijing Intends to Restore Ming Dynasty Imperial Tomb

Beijing has recently allocated 38 million yuan to restore an imperial tomb dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), local sources say.

De Tomb, one of the 13 Ming-Dynasty imperial tombs located in the northwest suburbs of the Chinese capital, contains the reamins of the 15th emperor of the Ming Dynasty and his queen.

The tomb, whose construction began in 1627, covers an area of 3. 33 hectares.

Experts say that the tomb has been seriously damaged by natural decay and deliberate damage over many hundreds of years.

The restoration project will include different areas of the tomb and will last for two years. Two more of the 13 Ming tombs, will also be restored before the 2008 Summer Olympics.

The 13 Ming tombs are situated in a 40 square kilometer area. Thirteen emperors, 23 queens, many imperial concubines, princes and princesses, and numerous imperial slaves were buried in the area.

The tomb group has been listed as possibility for the title of world heritage in 2003 and is widely considered as an important part of the cultural heritage of the country.

( China Daily March 12, 2002)

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