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October 24, 2017

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Renovation of 12 Buddha halls complete

A PROMINENT Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the northwestern province of Gansu has completed the restoration of 12 Buddha halls, local authorities said yesterday.

The work part of a wider 300 million yuan (US$46 million) preservation project to renovate the Labrang Monastery, one of the largest temples of the Gelug sect of Tibetan Buddhism.

The project, which began in 2012, is focused on reinforcing structural elements, restoring paintings and frescos, as well as improving safety at the temple.

Sonam Gya, who is in charge of protecting the monastery’s artifacts, said the renovated halls will soon be open to the public, with repair work on paintings and frescos ongoing.

Located in Xiahe County in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Gannan, Labrang Monastery was built in 1709 and has been a national cultural protection site since 1982.

Over more than 300 years, the monastery has suffered several fires, and its mud and wood structure is in urgent need of reinforcement.

“The renovated Labrang Monastery will better serve as a religious venue and a place to preserve Tibetan Buddhist culture,” Sonam Gya said.

He said that around 80 percent of work had been completed.

The renovation work will be suspended in winter due to cold weather, resuming in May.


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