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Historic Shanghai temple's slow odyssey complete

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-18 08:08

Tourists and monks attend a ceremony of gratitude at the Grand Hall of the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai on Sunday. The hall was moved 31 meters north and raised 1 meter.[Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Work to move the Grand Hall of Shanghai's Jade Buddha Temple 31 meters north and raise it 1 meter from the place it has stood for almost century was completed on Sunday.

The temple was first built in 1882 on the outskirts of Shanghai. It is named for the two jade Buddha statues it houses. Destroyed by fire, it was reconstructed in 1918 at its current downtown location.

Abbots of the temple decided to relocate the saffron-painted Grand Hall three years ago because of safety concerns and to protect the wooden structure. The temple welcomes about 2 million visitors a year, and daily visitors on occasions such as Chinese New Year Eve can top 100,000.

A special ceremony attended by monks, abbots and thousands of Buddhist faithful was held on Sunday morning to celebrate the successful relocation of the hall after two weeks of work.

The 2,000-metric-ton structure was moved together with three clay Buddha sculptures and other relics it contained.

"The challenge was like walking and carrying a tray of tofu to a destination," said Lan Wuji, founder of Evolution Shift, the company behind the project, which also handled the relocation of Shanghai Music Hall in 2003.

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