Recently, Xian authorities have ordered that a majority of the buildings in a 1,300-year-old Buddhist temple are to be demolished. The announcement has provoked massive outrage online among many Chinese scholars.
According to a staff member of the Xingjiao Temple, authorities are requiring the temple to demolish two-thirds of its buildings by next month. The temple is currently home to relics of Chinese monk Xuan Zang. Zang traveled to India in the 7th century in order to retrieve Buddhist sculptures. His trip inspired the Japanese show, Monkey, which now has a cult following in Britain and Australia.
The temple was ordered to be demolished as a part of China’s preparation to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status for several of its other sites. According to authorities, “many buildings must be pulled down for the success of the application.”