New Delhi, May 30 : A team of 45 soldiers from the Jinan-based cannon battalion is working on a war-footing to save thousands of historical relics of the 600-year-old Bao'en Temple, which was devastated by the May 12 earthquake.
"We moved more than 3,200 historical relics out of the small hall today," Wu told China Daily.
The heaviness of many of the relics made the task more difficult. In addition to nearly 3,000 books and written works, the temple contained more than 200 large, heavy artifacts, such as Buddha josses, stone sculptures and monuments. The soldiers had to exercise extreme care when handling these items. They couldn't use tools in the removals, because they might damage the rare relics.
The temple, which is also referred to as The "Forbidden City Deep In The Mountains'" was completed under the Ming Dynasty in 1440. It has endured many mighty earthquakes over the years, but the May 12, 2008 earthquake was the first to severely damage it, causing up to 80 million yuan (11 million dollars) in losses.
But it was only one among many historical sites and relics in Sichuan damaged by the quake.
According to the State Administration of Cultural Relics, the disaster damaged or destroyed 45 national-level and 59 provincial-level cultural relics.