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Summer Palace remnant to reopen

 The Garden of Harmonious Interests, a garden with a long reputation hidden inside the Summer Palace, is now available to the public. [China.org.cn/Sina]



The only surviving historical structure of Beijing's Old Summer Palace will open to the public next year after eight years of renovation.

The Zhengjue temple is the most intact building remaining in the Old Summer Palace, the imperial garden of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), after it was burned down by British and French forces in 1860 and the Eight-Power Allied Forces in 1900.

The 14,000 square meter temple was built in 1773, the 38th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign. Its reopening next year will mark the 150th anniversary of the destruction of the Old Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan.

Authorities decided to rebuild the temple in July 2000. The whole project costs more than 60 million yuan (US$9 million).

Experts started a global hunt in October 2009 for 1.5 million relics looted from the palace during the Second Opium War in 1860. Visiting museums, libraries, and private collections in countries including Britain, France and Japan, they found previously unknown lost relics belonging to Yuanmingyuan in the US.