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E. China's sacred mountain to get renovation
2005-03-01 00:23:45 XinhuaEnglish

JINAN, March 1(Xinhuanet)-- China will renovate the sacred mountain of Taishan, a World Heritage site, to boom local tourism beginning in early March.

The face-lift, which costs an estimated 15 million yuan(about 1.8 million US dollars), will finish in late October, said an official with the tourism bureau of Shandong Province, where the mountain is located.

Dubbed as"the most preeminent of China's five sacred mountains," Taishan was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientificand Cultural Organization(UNESCO) in 1987 as a world natural and cultural heritage.

The other four mountains are western Huashan, southern Hengshan,northern Eternity and central Songshan.

The renovation includes repair work on historic relics and rebuilding damaged cultural architecture. Besides, blots on the landscape inconsistent with the historic scenery, such as modern buildings, will be demolished, the official said.

Taishan has received the warning for its commercialization, followed by Huangshan Mountain in east China's Anhui Province and The Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie in central China's Hunan Province.

With the peak 1,540 meters above sea level, Taishan Mountain isa symbol of loftiness and grandeur. In ancient times, emperors used to ascend the mountain to pray and say thanks to heaven and earth for peace and prosperity. High officials, noted scholars andcommoners have followed suit.

"The sacred Mount Tai(Taishan) was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs," says an introduction to Taishan Mountain on the website of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.

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