Project to save ancient murals in Tibet

28th Feb 2013

Much-needed repair work is under way in Tibet to preserve exquisite 600-year-old murals.

Located at Drepung Monastery in the Tibet autonomous region, the murals were created in around 1614 and cover an area of 1,042 square meters.

The relics have not been opened to visitors since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), but with the help of 6 million yuan ($961,000) funding from central government it is hoped they can be restored within three years.

Tourists interested in heritage sites would then be able to visit the region to catch a glimpse of the ancient murals.

The monastery, situated about 10 km west of Lhasa, is the largest monastery for the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.

It was expanded to 250,000 square meters following investment of 60 million yuan from the central government between 2006 and 2010 to reinforce the buildings at the site.

The murals have bulged or become detached from the walls over time, as traditional pigments used in their creation aged after centuries of oxidization. Mud and smoke damage has also contributed to their deterioration.

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