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Facelift of Potala Palace Square Finished

The expansion and repair work of the square in front of the Potala Palace finished Sunday in Lhasa, the capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Blending splendid ancient Tibetan culture with modern characteristics, the new square, covering 18 hectares, will be the main venue for the upcoming celebration of the 40th founding anniversary of Tibet Autonomous Region.

The project, costing 150 million yuan (about US$18.5 million), includes brick-paving, building greenbelt, a musical fountain and installing broadcasting and power facilities. It started in late March.

The project is part of the renovation on the Potala Palace, which was included in the list of world cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994.

Gaisang from Shigatse visited the square on the first day it opened, along with his wife and two daughters. The family got amazed by the musical fountain. "The new square is great. It could match big squares in large Chinese cities," he said when taking pictures for two daughters.

Standing on the square, Dutch tourist Corine was surrounded by the greenbelt. " It is such a good view looking at Potala Palace from here."

The Potala Palace, located in the northwestern corner of Lhasa, was first built by Tibetan King Songtsa Gambo in the 7th century in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) , and expanded during the 17th century. It features the essence of ancient Tibetan architectural art.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2005)

Facelift for Ancient Tibetan Buildings
Renovation of Potala Palace Square Begins
Maintenance on Three Tibet's Cultural Sites Runs Smooth
Tibetan Palace to Be Renovated
Potala Wall Repairs Begin
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