China’s Forbidden City to be renovated before OlympicsApril 9th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by admin
Beijing, April 9 (Xinhua) A wide-ranging facelift of China’s famed Forbidden City will be completed ahead of Olympics after over five years of repairing, a spokesman with the historical site said Wednesday. “Repair work will end before August, when people will see an enlarged open area of the palace,” Palace Museum spokesman Feng Nai’en told reporters.
A 1,000-sq meter area in the palace will be opened for tourists for the first time this year, for an exhibition of imperial horse-drawn vehicles, said Feng.
The newly opened area is outside Taihemen or Gate of Supreme Harmony, the main gate of the outer court in the city, as well as Wenhuadian or Hall of Literary Splendour.
“Taihedian, which has been closed for repairs for over two years will be unveiled with refurbished colour paintings ahead of the Olympics,” said Feng.
Taihedian is the highest and the most striking building in the Forbidden City. It is the place where emperors received high officials and exercised their rule over the nation.
The official also said that a permanent medical station has been set up in the palace to provide medical aid to tourists.
However, the spokesman did not reveal the cost of the facelift, which experts believe to be the biggest overhaul of the Forbidden City in 100 years.
The Forbidden City, located in the centre of Beijing, used to cover 6.8 sq km, when it was an imperial residence of emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties during 1368-1911 A.D.
As the world’s largest palace complex, the Forbidden City is China’s most popular tourist destination, which receives some 1.6 million foreign tourists a year.
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