Xi'an, monks reach deal on temple buildings' demolition

Updated: 2013-05-10 09:31

By Jin Haixing and Lu Hongyan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The cultural heritage authority in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, said on April 11 that some buildings of a temple in the city will be removed after the monks agreed to the plan, after media reports said most of its buildings will be dismantled.

Xi'an's Cultural Heritage Administration said the Xingjiao Temple is in the list of cultural relics units in Shaanxi province for the Chinese Silk Road's UNESCO World Heritage Site application in July 2012.

However, the head of the temple, named Kuanchi, said the temple applied to quit the application plan, the China News Service reported on April 11.

The Xingjiao Temple, in Duqu township in Chang'an district of Xi'an, is famous because the bone relics of a renowned Chinese Buddhist monk named Xuanzang, from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), are buried there.

The administration said three main pagodas, including the one where Xuanzang's remains are buried, will be preserved according to the plan.

Other buildings in the temple built in later periods, but reflecting the history of the temple, will also be protected.

But some newly built buildings, such as living houses for monks, will be removed, the statement said.

The statement, on the official website of Xi'an Cultural Heritage Administration, said that after the monks in the temple agree to remove those recently built buildings, the city will find a new place in nearby village to build new living houses for the monks.

However, the removal of those buildings will affect the normal religious life for monks, Kuanchi said.

China News Service's report said the temple will submit the quit application document to the cultural heritage departments of Chang'an district on Thursday afternoon.