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Renovation of Religious Sites

During the chaotic "cultural revolution" (1966-1976), religious belief was prohibited in Tibet, and religious activity venues and facilities suffered damage. This was also the case in other parts of China. In the 1980s, the Central Government allocated over 200 million yuan to Tibet for the repair and maintenance of monasteries, holy stupas, shrines and other sites for religious activities. Among those were the Jokhang Monastery initially built in the seventh century, the Samye Monastery built by a Tubo king in the eighth century, and the four major monasteries of the Gelug Sect, namely Zhaibung, Sera, Gandain and Tashilhungpo.


In 1985, the state earmarked 6.7 million yuan, plus 111 kg of gold, 2,000 kg of silver and a large amount of jewelry, to renovate the holy stupas for the Fifth to Ninth Panchen.


The phase-one project for the repair of the Potala Palace lasted five years from October 1989 to August 1994. Involving a total investment of 53 million Yuan, it was the project related to repair of a cultural relic in China with the highest investment. In 1993, efforts began to gain acceptance for the Potala Palace as a World Heritage site, and these efforts succeeded in December 1994. Jokhang Monastery and the Norbu Lingka, both located in Lhasa, followed suit in November 2000 and December 2001 respectively.


In June 1990, the State Council approved the construction of the gold stupa and memorial hall for the late 10th Panchen at the Tashilhungpo Monastery. For the purpose, it allocated 66.2 million yuan, plus 650 kg of gold, over 500 kg of silver and other kinds of needed materials. In 1993, the stupa and memorial hall were commissioned and a grand consecration ceremony was held on September 4, showing the high regard of the Central Government to an outstanding religious leader.


In 1994, the state allocated 20 million yuan to continue the renovation of the Gandain Monastery.


In June 2002, the repair of the Potala Palace, Norbu Lingka and Sagya Monastery, the largest repair project undertaken since the founding of the PRC in 1949, began. It involved a total investment of 330 million Yuan, including 170 million Yuan for the repair of the Potala Palace. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2006. By July 2004, a huge lawn (36,000 square meters) at the foot of the Potala Palace was built at a cost of over 2 million Yuan. On August 8, 2004, the repair of the Potala Palace was finished after some 600,000 workdays. It is composed of 111 sub-projects including the repair of places belonging to the Red and White Palaces, totaling 33,900 square meters. The repair project passed examination by the State Cultural Relics Bureau. Within 2005, some 31 ancient architectural projects will be repaired including those belonging to the White Palace, the Holy Stupa and Hall for the 5th Dalai Lama and the Snowland Town. They involve a total investment of 65 million Yuan. Thanks to the work undertaken at the present time, the Potala Palace may not have to be repaired for the next 50 years.

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