|Aug.3, 2016 -- The Potala Palace in Tibet is so rich with history and art, that exactly how many cultural relics it houses has been a mystery until now that is. Thanks to restorers who have been documenting and logging over 100,000 pieces for three years, we now have a much better idea of the wealth of treasures there.
To many, Potala Palace is the symbol of Tibet.
The towering spiritual sanctum has a history of 1,300 years, and is among the first to be listed as a National Historical and Cultural Site.
Of the treasures it holds, many items have been checked for the first time in 40 years.
"So far, over 100,000 cultural relics have been documented. Over 60,000 pieces are made of metal, over 40,000 others are Buddha statues, Thangka paintings, gold and silver wares, porcelains, jades, and volumes of religious scriptures. We have now documented all the cultural relics on display in Potala Palace," said Gongga Tashi, Deputy Director of Cultural Relics Management Office, Potala Palace.
Documentation work is always ongoing, but this round was much more comprehensive and thorough.
"Initially, we only had a paper record of the cultural relics. Now we take photos of each piece, and note down the material, size, weight, age and other information. There will be a video record of all the items too, which is really significant for cultural protection," said Gongga Tashi.
The Potala Palace, also a museum of Tibetan culture, was first built in the seventh century by Tibetan King Songtsa Gambo. It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.