Longhua to show off its treasures

By Lu Feiran, Shanghai Daily, Oct 24, 2007

Shanghai, China -- ANCIENT treasures will be shown to about 40 residents near Longhua Temple for the first time today as the temple unveils its cultural heritage.

If the visit goes well, the temple may allow more people to appreciate its library, museum and Buddhist sculptures.

The temple's relics, known as the Longhua Three Treasures, include a tripitaka - a famous Buddhist scripture - dating back to the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), a gold-plated Birojana Buddha statue from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and a gold seal granted by the Ming Emperor Shenzong.

"We want more people to see the city's cultural heritage, to enrich their life," said Zhu Hengdeng, an official with the temple community.

"But we decided not to display the seal because it's fragile and needs protection."

Other activities such as lectures on Buddhist culture will also be given by temple masters today.

The temple has protected the relics against any possible harm during the visit.

"We have also drafted tips and warnings, to tell visitors what to do and what not to do," said Zhu.

First built during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), the two-hectare Longhua Temple has gone through several restorations. Most of the present halls were built during the late Qing Dynasty.