Restorations at the Summer Palace


Beijing Morning Post, June 21, 2010

Massive flooding across seven provinces in southern China has affected tens of millions of people. The Beijing Morning Post notes in a top headline that Premier Wen Jiabao has gone to Guangxi to take charge of disaster relief work, but unlike many of today’s papers (see Southern Metropolis Daily and The Beijing News), it forgoes a dramatic front-page photo of flood damage.

Instead, the paper focuses on restoration work currently underway at the Summer Palace:

The circuit around Kunming Lake is the major tourist route in the Summer Palace and is four kilometers long. The new surface will use solid granite and simple bluestone tiles. A source with the Summer Palace said that due to lack of awareness of cultural heritage preservation in the 1970s, the circuit and connected pathways were paved with modern-feeling cement and asphalt. After nearly 40 years of erosion by wind and rain, the circuit is uneven and pitted and inconveniences tourists.

Workers began hauling away the cement slabs yesterday. The entire project will be completed by the end of November. The article concludes with a confession: “Because the ‘new surface’ was still on its way to Beijing, this reporter was unable to personally witness its beauty.”

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