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Major Maintenance on Summer Palace in Beijing Ends


Major sites of the world famous Summer Palace in Beijing, a splendid resort for imperial families of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), reopened to tourists on Saturday after comprehensive restoration. The restoration project, which started in April 2004 and cost more than 60 million yuan (US$7.5 million), included the landmark architectures of the Fragrant Buddha Pavilion, Long Corridor and Cloud Fairyland Hall. More than 9,300 square meters of ancient buildings were repaired, according to administration officials of the resort, which is on the list of China's state-level protected historical sites and the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. With a length of 728 meters, the Long Corridor is the longest ancient garden aisle. It zigzags around the Kunming Lake and connects four pavilions and 273 halls, on which colorful brushworks featuring animals, flowers, landscapes, tales and ancient stories were painted. The Fragrant Buddha Pavilion served as a place for religious worships and the Cloud Fairyland Hall was a place for recreational activities of the imperial family during the Qing Dynasty. New guarding monitors, fire control facilities and water-electricity supply systems were also installed in the maintenance. Along with the Summer Palace on Beijing's western outskirts, the Chinese capital has decided to spend more than 400 million yuan (US$50 million) for repairing or maintaining its heritage sites and cultural relics. Of the total amount, 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) will be used for repairs on the Forbidden City, the imperial court complexes of China's last two dynasties, the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). The remaining approximately 300 million yuan (US$37.5 million), offered partially by the municipal government and partially by district governments, will be used to restore 20 cultural sites. Mei Ninghua, head for Beijing's cultural relics affairs, said the city government will also carry out maintenance work on all of the city's approximately 300 cultural relic sites before 2008. According to Mei, Beijing's citywide restoration project in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has caught the eyes of foreign governments and companies.

(Source:Xinhua News Agency , 2006-09-25)