File photo shows the mural painting in Gongkar Chode Monastery, Lhoka Prefecture of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo/Xinhua]
The ongoing first stage of the maintenance and protection project of rare murals in Gongkar Chode Monastery of Tibet's Lhoka Prefecture will extend until May 2014 with an increased investment of 30 million yuan, according to Xinhua.
Started in March, the project with a total investment of 110 million yuan (about 18 U.S. dollars) aims to better protect the largest and most complete murals of Khentse School, one of the four major Tibetan mural schools.
The Gongkar Chode Monastery is a dominating monastery of Sakya Sect in Tibetan Buddhism, which is located in Gangtod Village of Gongkar County. Built in 1464, the monastery is featured with murals of Khentse School with a history of over 500 years, and thus becomes a national cultural relic site.
"Most murals of Khentse School are preserved in the monastery, including a rare mural painting of high artistic value, which describes the 'Six Paths of Reincarnation' in Tibetan Buddhism," said Kelzang, vice director of the management committee of the monastery.
The three stages of the maintenance project include the repair of ancient buildings, the restoration of its mural paintings as well as the environment remediation.
"The restoration of murals, also the most complicated phase, will start soon after the repair of ancient buildings," said Kelzang. "An investment of 6 million yuan is scheduled to be put in the second phase of the project."
As a renowned monastery, the Gongkar Chode Monastery receives a large number of Buddhists and tourists every year. The rare murals in the monastery will show the splendid Tibetan art to the public again after the whole maintenance project is finished in two or three years.