Major renovation of Forbidden City walls begins

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/27 15:18:07

The walls that surround Beijing's Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, began on Saturday to undergo the most thorough restoration project since 1949, which aims to fixing the "age diseases" that threaten the 600-year-old structure, the Beijing News reported. 

Shan Jixiang, the curator of the Palace Museum, said that after 600 years, the 3437.6 meter-long wall has many "diseases," including decaying and crumbling bricks; cracks in the structure; and subsidence that is undermining its foundations, according to the Beijing News. 

The Forbidden City began the first phase of the renovation project on a 233 meter-section of the wall at the western end of the complex named Xihuamen, which is the part most affected by these problems, said the report. 

Shan said that the renovations are urgent as the wall is in such a poor state it could collapse in heavy rain, the Beijing News reported on Sunday.

According to experts on the Forbidden City, ground-penetrating radar will be the major method used to guide the renovation work, assisted by other methods to detect what lies inside the wall. After the surveying process, the wall will receive a new waterproof coat, damaged bricks will be replaced and the foundations will be reinforced.

Shan said that currently the Forbidden City is working on its plan to repair the whole wall and it will be open to public gradually after the project is completed. 

Apart from the wall, a project to improve the Forbidden City's infrastructure - including its plumbing, wiring and heating - will proceed at the same time. Currently, the infrastructure is outmoded and it's supply capacity is insufficient. 

The Beijing News

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