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China invests heavily on protection of Tibet's intangible cultural heritage

(Xinhua)

10:33, August 22, 2011

LHASA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- China has invested more than 60 million yuan (9.38 million U.S dollars) on the preservation and development of Tibet's intangible cultural heritage (ICH) over the past six years, a senior cultural official said Sunday.

The Ministry of Culture has allocated 32.58 million yuan for the preservation and inheritance of Tibet's ICH, said Yang Zhijin, vice minister of culture, at the 3rd China Tibetan Culture Forum that opened in Lhasa on Saturday.

The government of Tibet Autonomous Region also invested nearly 30 million yuan for its ICH, said Yang, who is also vice president of the Chinese Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture.

Yang said his ministry will take other measures over the next five years to further promote the preservation of Tibet's ICH.

Among the measures is a preferential policy toward Tibet's ICH preservation in regard to financial support.

More than 3,000 people were mobilized to conduct surveys on Tibet's ICH, during which nearly 500 ICH items were recorded and more than 1,000 ICH inheritors were listed.

A total of 76 ICH items, including traditional Tibetan medicine and paper, the Thangka painting and Langma dance and music, were registered as country-level ICHs, while 53 Tibetan artists were listed as country-level ICH inheritors, according to Yang.

Yang said the Ministry of Culture will help improve the living and working conditions of those ICH inheritors for their teaching and exchange activities.

China has also set up a research institute and a special fund for the compilation and publication of the Epic of King Gesar, the world's longest orally narrated epic poem that relates the heroic deeds of legendary lord of Gesar, Yang said.

He added that the ministry will feature more Tibetan ICH items on the nationwide promotion and exhibition activities in order to introduce Tibetan culture to the entire country and the world as well.

The two-day forum was attended by more than 400 Tibetan experts from 17 countries and regions.

The first forum was held in Beijing in 2006, and the second was held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2007.

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