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China earmarks additional 8 mln yuan to renovate Tibet's Sera Monastery

(Xinhua)

19:55, December 30, 2011

LHASA, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government has pledged an additional 8 million yuan (1.26 million U.S. dollars) for renovations at the Sera Monastery, one of the three leading monasteries in Lhasa, a massive project whose completion has been pushed back to next October.

More than one year after the renovation work started, work crews had completed repairs on three major colleges in the sprawling compound of the five-century-old monastery. The project, suspended for the plateau's frigid winter, will resume in March, monastery officials said Friday.

Next year's repairs will focus on the golden roof of the Great Assembly Hall, for which the government has earmarked an additional 8 million yuan, said Penpa Gyaencaen, an official with the monastery's civil management committee.

The central government originally earmarked 46 million yuan for the renovations.

The renovations will preserve the monastery's original style. The project was expected to be finished by the end of 2011, but is now expected to finish in October 2012, officials said.

Sera, Deprung and Ganden are considered the 'great three' Gelukpa monasteries in Lhasa, a holy land of Tibetan Buddhism.

Since the 1980s, the Chinese government has spent more than 1.3 billion yuan on the preservation of more than 1,400 monasteries and cultural relics in Tibet.

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