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23:59 Sep 27 2011

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500-year-old monastery devastated in Yushu quake
10:58, April 23, 2010  

Jiegu Monastery

The recent Yushu earthquake did severe damage to 90 percent of buildings at the Jiegu Monastery, a historical and cultural heritage site under the protection of Qinghai province. The monastery's scripture hall partly collapsed, all the frescos have fallen down, the main body of the institute of learning is close to collapsing and its stupa was completely ruined.

"The 500-plus year-old scripture hall was simply destroyed and eight monks lost their lives," said a 35-year-old monk who is responsible for managing the sculpture hall.

The Jiegu Monastery has 500 monks and is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Yushu Prefecture with a history dating back 2,000 years. The temple is located on a mountain to the north of Jiegu Town.

When the 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit at 7:49 a.m. on April 14, the monks of the Jiegu Monastery were gathered at the institute of learning, the highest place of the temple. The scripture hall on the slope of the mountain was composed of more than 100 living quarters in rows.

According to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Qinghai's cultural heritage department reported at 8 a.m. on April 19 the complete collapse of two cultural relics under state protection: the stupa and palace of the Jiana Mani Stone Sutra City in Xinzhai Village, Yushu prefecture. Like in the Wenchuan earthquake before, cultural relics suffered heavily during the Qinghai earthquake.

The Culture Bureau and Press and Publication Bureau of Qinghai province said that the cultural relics damaged by the earthquake will be renovated or rebuilt and related plans have been submitted to the provincial government.

By People's Daily Online
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