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Oldest wooden pagoda has rain-proof revamp


17:32, March 14, 2013

TAIYUAN, March 13 (Xinhua) -- A rain-proof renovation on the Yingxian Pagoda, believed to be the world's oldest existing wooden pagoda, has been completed, according to an official in north China's Shanxi Province on Wednesday.

The revamp is intended to better preserve the 956-year-old pagoda located in Yingxian County, which has suffered from erosion of rain and snow that has leaked through its dilapidated roof, said Ma Yujiang, head of the Yingxian Pagoda cultural relic protection bureau.

Renovation work began on the structure, which has five tiers, in 2011. Ma said.

"We sent workers onto the pagoda roof and eaves of its every tier to replace rotten tiles and fix cracks. Now the pagoda's inner structure will no longer soak in rainwater," Ma said.

Plans to reinforce the pagoda structure and other improvement programs to prepare it for a World Heritage application are being reviewed, he said.

The 67-meter Yingxian Pagoda, also known as the Sakyamuni Pogada of Fogong Temple, was erected in 1056 during the Liao Dynasty. Surviving several earthquakes over the centuries, it is now the world's oldest and tallest existent wooden pagoda.

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