The 11th Panchen Erdeni Gyaincain Norbu visited a Tibetan Thangka painting show here, launched as a key cultural program for the celebration of the ongoing Beijing Olympics, on Wednesday.
Thangka, or scroll painting, is a unique art of Tibetan culture, which is usually painted on linen cloth or cotton fabric and mounted by scroll of brocade. It has been put on the first list ofChina's Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is a mark of Tibetan people's devotion to Buddhism and often serves as an object of worship at home.
Held at the Nationalities Cultural Palace from July 30 to August 20, the Thangka exhibition featured the epic tale of a Tibetan hero King "Gesar", whose story has been transmitted orally by ballad singers or lyricists for centuries.
"The artwork show demonstrates Tibetan people's wisdom and hardworking features," Panchen said.
"It also shows the country's stepped-up efforts in saving and developing traditional Tibetan cultural heritages," he added.
China has launched a series of protection measures for the cultural heritage in the region.
In April, the government earmarked 570 million yuan (81.4 million U.S. dollars) for the preservation of 22 historical and cultural relics in Tibet. The project will start this year and last until 2010, and the funds will be directed at 15 monasteries under state-level protection and seven historical sites.
It follows preservation projects at Potala Palace, Sagya Monastery and Norbu Lingka Palace.
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)