Tibet's oldest palace under renovation

LHASA, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China has allocated a total of 10 million yuan (1.5 million U.S. dollars) to renovate Yumbu Lakhang, which is believed to be the oldest building in Tibet Autonomous Region, local authorities said Monday. 

According to Champa Tsering, head of the cultural relics bureau in the city of Shannan, the funds will be used to reinforce and renovate the palace without altering its original appearance.

Champa Tsering said that the palace is in a poor condition due to its decaying wooden structure and cracked building walls.

The palace has been closed to tourists and the renovation project is expected to be completed by April 2018.

"Yumbu" means female deer in the Tibetan language. The palace was named after the shape of the mountain it was built on. Based on historical records, the palace dates back to the second century B.C.

In 1962, the palace was listed as a regional-level cultural relic in Tibet.

A government white paper released in 2015 showed that the central government has spent more than 1.4 billion yuan on restoring Tibetan cultural relics and refurbishing key monasteries since 1980s.