Birthplace of China martial arts damaged
Updated: 2005-12-16 07:00
More than 20 pagodas at China's famous 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple complex
have begun to tilt and crack after a burst water pipe damaged their
The oldest pagoda in the complex,
which dates back to the Tang Dynasty of 618-907 AD, has a crack in it 100
centimetres (40 inches) long and two centimetres wide, Xinhua news agency said
kung fu next to the famed Shaolin Temple.
Monks have used four pieces of wood from a big tree to support the Fawan
At least 20 pagodas are tilted and cracked after a fracture to a water
pipeline three months ago soaked their foundations and flooded some of their
The damage to the Shaolin complex -- famous as the birthplace of China's
martial arts -- comes after local authorities applied to the United Nations for
it to be listed as a world heritage site.
World heritage listing was needed to help protect the site in central Henan
province from damage, Chinese authorities said when the application was first
reported in March this year.
Shaolin has become a major tourist attraction in recent years, with
foreigners eager to see first-hand the monks' spectacular form of kung fu.
An estimated 10,000 foreigners have taken classes since the temple area
opened to tourism in 1988.