CCTV.com - CNTV English - CCTV News

China restores Tibetan monastery murals

06-14-2012 01:49 BJT

LHASA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Murals in the Jokhang Temple in the Tibet autonomous region's capital of Lhasa are currently undergoing the most extensive restoration in their 1,300-year existence, according to local cultural relic officials.

The restoration project, funded by an investment of 10 million yuan (about 1.6 million U.S. dollars), was launched in early June and is expected to be completed in three years, said Li Liangqi, deputy director of the Lhasa cultural relic bureau.

The Jokhang Temple, located in the heart of Lhasa, was added to UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2000 as one of the top destinations in the world for Tibetan pilgrims.

Centuries of erosion have cracked many of the temple's religious murals, which led officials to start the restoration, Li said.

The restoration process began when the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage was invited by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage to examine the murals and create a detailed restoration plan for each mural, Li said.

"The murals will be restored in the same way as they originally were. The work is not expected to happen quickly, but will be delicate," he said.

Li said traditional pigments will be used for the restoration, adding that 30 local painters spent months training in Beijing to tackle the job.

Li said waterproofing work has already started on the murals.

"Each mural alludes to something and tells the story of Buddha. They were painted by top painters gathered by the fifth Dalai Lama," said a Lama named Nyima Tsering from the Jokhang Temple.

"They (the murals) are a form of heritage from our ancestors. We felt hurt to see the cracks. It is virtuous to repair them," Nyima Tsering said.

"We started to copy the paintings a few years ago when we saw them falling apart. We thought this would be useful someday for restoration efforts," he said.

Although the murals have been repaired before, the current restoration project is the largest in the temple's history, he said.

The temple itself previously underwent two years of renovations starting in 2009 to repair the temple's wooden structures and earthen walls. Other renovation projects were also undertaken in the 1970s and 1980s.

Editor:Wang Shuo |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program