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Visits to Beijing Cultural Relics Restricted During Olympics
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Beijing will restrict the number of daily visits to cultural relics during the Olympic Games next year in order to ensure orderly visits and protect cultural relics, according to the Beijing Cultural Heritage Administration.

"All cultural relics in Beijing will undergo a thorough "facelift" before next August, and any renovation, except for emergency repair, will suspended during the Games," said Kong Fanzhi, director of the administration.

Kong said the "facelift" includes exterior renovations of ancient constructions and roofs that are visible from adjacent streets. This will to enable visitors, especially foreign tourists, to "see Beijing through cultural relics".

The "facelift" also refers to improved services, he said, adding that cultural relics protection bureaus above the city-level should have more than two staff members in charge of reception and visitor services.

The building of a "soft environment" around cultural relics near Olympic venues should be particularly improved, such as constructing obstacle-free facilities to benefit the handicapped, he said.

A regulation on cultural relics management for the Olympics, which outlines measures for protection, renovation, creating obstacle-free facilities and regulations regarding filming, will go into effect on Oct. 1 and last one year.

(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2007)

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