China seeks world heritage status for Buddhist Pagoda

Sakyamuni Pagoda is one of the oldest wooden structures in the world.

Beijing: China is planning to submit a
proposal to UNESCO to include Sakyamuni Pagoda, believed to be
the oldest wooden structures in the world, in its list of
heritage sites.

Officials in north China`s Shanxi province said today
that they would finish the drafting of the proposal by July
this year.

The Sakyamuni Pagoda, also known as the Yingxian
Pagoda as it was housed in the Fogong Temple of Yingxian
county, is the oldest full-wooden pagoda still standing in
China and believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

Standing 67.31 meters tall, the octagonal pagoda was
built in 1,056 AD during the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty.

The government has allocated over 30 million yuan
(about USD 4.59 million) to improve the environment
surrounding the state-protected pagoda, Zhao Chang, head of
the county`s cultural relics departmen told state run Xinhua
news agency.

The wooden tower has survived several strong
earthquakes and wars, although it now has a tilt which is
worrying architectural experts.
China has about 40 of its famous natural and cultural
sites recognised under UNESCO`s world heritage convention.


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