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China's famous Buddhist mountain to improve environment


Wutai Mountain

April will see the kick off of a project to improve environmental conditions on Mount Wutai, one of four sacred Buddhist Mountains in China, the local government announced on Tuesday.

It is hoped that the project, to be completed in July, will greatly improve the environment in the temple-dotted Taihuai Town, center of Mount Wutai's scenic area, in north China's Shanxi Province.

In February this year, two illegal temples in the mountain area were closed and six people were arrested over illegal funding. The suspects hired fake monks to deceive tourists into donating money, buying expensive incense and paying unreasonable amounts for ceremonies.

Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2009, Mount Wutai is home to about 50 Buddhist temples built between the 1st century AD and the early 20th century.

The site is in Wutai County, Xinzhou City in Shanxi Province, 230 km from the provincial capital, Taiyuan City.