Dharamshala — Chinese state-run media Xinhua reported that the Potala Palace, the historic home of the Dalai Lamas which is more than 1300 years old, is scheduled to undergo major renovations in coming months.
The Potala Palace is an iconic feature of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet and was home to the Dalai Lamas since 1694. Since the 14th Dalai Lama's escape into exile in 1959, the Palace has been converted into a museum administrated by Chinese authorities.
According to the report, the project will focus on repairing the gold-plated roof of the palace and improving its security surveillance system, a project that will cost more than 10 million yuan (1.5 million U.S. dollars).
The Potala Palace was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994 and is the most famous tourist attraction in Tibet. It has become a major tourist attraction for foreigners and local Tibetans who visit its many rooms and temples. The palace has 13 stories with over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and nearly 200,000 statues.
Last year, 1.37 million domestic and international tourists visited the palace. Tourists numbers were restricted to 1,600 per day to avoid overcrowding in its narrow rooms and corridors.
Tibet was invaded by Communist China in 1949. Since that time, over 1.2 million out of only 6 million total Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed and acts of murder, rape, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment have been inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet. Beijing continues to call this a "peaceful liberation".