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Tibetan sites restored

A 330-MILLION-YUAN (US$48 million) preservation project at the Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Sagya Monastery, three of the most important historic sites in Tibet, is expected to be completed late this year, officials said yesterday. The work began in 2002.

The Potala Palace, built in the seventh century, is on the world cultural heritage list. Norbulingka, which means "treasure park" in the Tibetan language, was the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Sagya Monastery, about 4,300 meters above sea level, houses numerous classical books on Buddhism and precious paintings.

Repairs to the ancient buildings and ancient frescos at the three sites has almost been completed, while the fire control, lighting, water supply and drainage systems are expected to be completed in July or August, according to the regional cultural heritage bureau.

Of the total funds, 240 million yuan is being spent on repairs to the Potala Palace, said Champa Kelsang, chief of the administration for the palace.

The palace has an elevation of 3,763 meters. Renovation to the site also includes 17 ancient buildings, including the stupas of generations of Dalai Lamas.


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