Beijing, Aug 22 (Calcutta Tube) More tourists will be able to visit China’s Forbidden City after a renovation project to double the size of this heritage complex in the heart of Beijing is completed in 2020.
An annual budget of about 100 million yuan ($14.73 million) has been allocated for renovation since 2002. It will ease congestion and help secure the relics, reports Global Times. This imperial palace is located next to Tiananmen Square and has 9,999 rooms.
[ReviewAZON asin=”0756631599″ display=”inlinepost”]Thirty percent of the complex’s area is open to public which accommodates 30,000 people daily, said Shan Jixiang, director of State Administration of Cultural Heritage. In extreme cases, however, 130,000 tourists visit the site, causing corrosive damage to the buildings, once home to 24 Chinese emperors.
‘Endless treading makes the stone floor bumpy. All that breathed-out air generated by tourists corrodes the buildings. Some tourists carve on relics,’ said He Shuzhong, chairman of Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Centre.
‘But it’s difficult to limit the number of tourists because every Chinese dreams to see the Forbidden City,’ said Hu.
The original design of the palace will remain same after renovation, as efforts are being made to preserve as much historical detail as possible, said Shan.
Floorboards are installed to cover the original floor and pillar bases of the Wild Goose Wing Towers, he added.
Visitors had scrawled on a calligraphy-inscribed board, 30 meters up on the Hall of Preserving Harmony. Luckily the graffiti didn’t permanently damage the board, he said.
‘Research institutes and administrative offices will be relocated to the western corner of the complex within a year,’ said Shan, adding ticket prices will not change.
However, the precious and priceless relics will continue to remain out of public view, said Yu, chairman of China Association for Preservation of Ethnic Minorities’ Relics.
Yu said great care is taken during expos, as changes in light intensity, humidity and air quality can damage the ancient items.