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The Forbidden City (故宮), Beijing (北京)

It's a sight to behold when you first enter the ground of the Imperial Palace - a vast vista with harmonious architectural proportions.
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But after millions of tourists trotting about year after year, all the buildings are in desperate needs of maintenance and repair. At first, it seems obvious what needs to be done - dusting the place down, pull out the weeds, repaint the peeling walls. However, when one considers the age of some of these buildings and the building material used, one realises it is not an easy job. The Temple of Harmony (太和殿), the grandest building in the palace, is now under scarfolding. The positive sign is that the Palace Museum is working with expert restorers from Italy to conduct investigation and research, and to identify the best way to carry out restoration. It is expected to re-open in October 2007. Let's hope the Chinese government has the will to commit to an Eternal Restoration and Maintenance project for this historic monument.
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