The historic Potala Palace, which once served as the religious center of Tibet, is about to undergo a $1.5 million renovation, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.
The 13-story palace has stood for 1,300 years. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994 and is now the most popular tourist attraction in Tibet. Its 45 rooms are seen by so many that tourist numbers are now restricted to 1,600 per day to avoid overcrowding.
State media quoted an official from the palace administration who reported that once approved by China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage, renovation projects will focus on repairing the gold-plated roof and enhancing the security surveillance system.
Before becoming a tourist attraction, it served as a political and religious capital for Tibetans before the latest Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a squashed uprising against Chinese rule.