Tian'anmen gets needed rehab work
A renovation project on the viewing stands of Beijing's Tian'anmen Square,scene of many momentous events over the past half century, began Wednesday.
The project, set to be completed before the end of September, is part of the preparations for the 55th anniversary celebration of the founding of the the People's Republic of China to be held on October 1.
The four brick-and-concrete-structured viewing stands, on both sides of the Tian'anmen Rostrum, were built in 1954 and were expanded in 1959 to hold more than 10,000 viewers. The total floor space of the viewing platforms is 4,008 square metres.
The 34.7-metres-tall Tian'anmen Rostrum, located at the main gate of the Imperial Forbidden City and to the north of the square, was built in 1417. And it was there on October 1, 1949, that Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the People's Republic of China. It has remained a place for important ceremonies ever since.
Sinkage and cracks have been seen in some parts of the platforms and need to be repaired,an official with the Tian'anmen Square area administrative committee said.
Colour renderings on the exterior walls of the platforms have been carried out many times over the past more than 50 years, but this is the first time to renovate the main body of the platforms, the official said.
The operation will not change the view of the Tian'anmen Rostrum, as well as the Tian'anmen Square's original look and height. The colour of the viewing facilities will also be maintained.