New Delhi, March 3 : China has announced the development of a cultural project costing 4.2 billion dollars to be built in Shandong province, which would help to revive traditional values including Confucianism.
Referred to as "Chinese Cultural Symbolic City", this project will be first of its kind in the country, covering 300 sq km with an estimated investment of at least 30 billion yuan (4.2 billion dollars).
The project will be in the city of Jining, one of the cradles of Chinese civilization and the birthplace of Confucius and his major disciple Mencius.
The new cultural city will incorporate the county-level city of Qufu, ancestral home of Confucius; Zoucheng, home of Mencius; and the Jiulong Mountain range between the two cities.
"The overall layout of the Symbolic City will combine the three areas, in which historical and cultural resources will be effectively protected, improved and integrated," said Shandong governor Jiang Daming.
"It should be a masterpiece of Chinese history and civilization, with a rich cultural tradition benefiting generations to come," he added.
According to Xu Jialu, vice-chairman of the standing committee of the National People's Congress, "I hope the initial construction of the project can be started before 2010."
Designs and plans for the city are being solicited from the public till September, according to officials.
Entries will be selected based on criteria that include reflecting the common values and aesthetics of the Chinese, and designs containing both modern and classic characteristics.
There will be a top prize of 2 million yuan, followed by three first prizes of 1 million yuan each, and six second and nine third prizes.
"All design plans will be reviewed by a panel made up of about 30 top artists, sinologists and architects in China," Jiang said.