The Chinese government attaches great importance to and has invested heavily in protecting historical relics in the Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest China.
The central government launched a 333-million-yuan (40 million US dollars) program in late June to restore the original look of the Potala Palace and Norbuglinkha, the winter and summer palaces of the Dalai Lamas, and the Sagya Lamasery which contains many rare religious relics.
The Potala Palace was included on the World Heritage list in 1994 and Johkang Monastery and Norbuglinkha at the end of 2001.
Rinqen Cering, director of the regional cultural heritage bureau, said Tibet is one of the major regions in China with a wealth of relics and most of these relics are found in temples.
Tibet's relics have been taken good care of by the central government ever since the peaceful liberation of the region in 1951, the director added.
In the last two decades of the 20th century, the central government of China invested more than 300 million yuan in restoring over 1,400 temples, relics sites and places for religious activities in the region, according to sources with local relics department.
Between 1989 and 1994, in particular, the Chinese government spent 55 million yuan (6.62 million US dollars) on and used large amounts of gold and silver in maintaining the Potala Palace.
China set up a special committee to collect and manage Tibet's relics and archives as early as in 1959. At the same time, the central government sent work teams to look at relics distributed in different parts of Tibet.
The Tibet Autonomous Regional government set up a committee to oversee local relics in 1965. It also adopted a series of regulations to protect them.
At present, Tibet has more than 270 relics and archaeological workers with 95 percent being Tibetans. Enditem