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Cultural Relics Destroyed in Quake

updated: 2008-06-20

According to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, sixty-five cultural relics under state protection and one hundred and nineteen under provincial protection have been severely damaged as a result of the giant quake that hit China's Sichuan Province May 12th. Shan Jixing, the administration's director, in a disaster relief conference said that teams of experts will be sent to Sichuan to make an appraisal of the damage and advise on the best course of action. The conference has heard that many of Sichuan's ancient buildings have collapsed or are in danger of collapsing.

The Erwang Temple built over 2,000 years ago to honor the then governor of Sichuan, Li Bing and his son for the construction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project collapsed in the quake.

On Mount Qingcheng, the birthplace of Taoism, several buildings are listing and in danger of collapsing. Mount Qingcheng is listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Baoen Temple built in 1,440 AD, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Sichuan has suffered considerable damage. Many of the temple's walls have collapsed and its frescos have been destroyed.

Chengdu's Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum, located over 92 kilometers from the epicenter has also received damage. Some of the roofs have sustained damage and a few walls have cracked.

Sichuan's Cultural Bureau has asked all the museums across Sichuan Province to ensute their artifacts safety, and remove them from exhibits if necessary.

Fortunately, other sites like Mt.Emei, Leshan Giant Buddha, Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Chengdu, throughout Sichuan Province, and the country as a whole have sustained no damage, and visitors to these tourist destinations will notice no difference.