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Top Tenors' Concert will Not Affect Ancient Structure

BEIJING, June 16 -- The coming historical gala -- the world's top three tenors' scheduled concert -- in the Forbidden City will in no way affect the 600-year-old ancient architecture of the royal residence.

Over 2,000 tons of falsework, the giant dragon pillars and a myriad of facilities and devices necessary for the concert, have aroused people's concern about the concert's possible harm to this royal residence.

Stage supervisor Jing Linsen assured the public Friday that effective protection measures have been employed to ensure that the event will not in any way affect the cultural relics of the Forbidden City.

The concert is slated for June 23 - the international Olympic Day when around 20,000 music enthusiasts will be on the Wumen plaza, the stage venue of the concert.

According to Jing, a large "cover-up and make-up" campaign is underway: The marble floor built up in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) will be covered up with several layers of special carpets and synthesized boards and rubber before the stage and audience seats are built.

Nothing is allowed to directly get in contact with the marble floor, and even the VIP seats are set on a special kind of carpet. Moreover, all the construction will be kept 15 meters away from the ancient city wall, Jing said.

Experts from the Palace Museum and relevant government departments have been invited to participate in the entire preparation process, from stage design to the civil engineering construction.

Strict supervision will be exercised to guarantee no damage to the ancient palace "until the last piece of those equipment and facilities is removed from the site," said Jing.

The entire project is estimated to use 1,000 cubic meters of timber and 20,000 square meters of special carpet.

Jing, once a tenor himself, believed that the negative impact of the acoustic factor to this ancient residence is too minute to be neglected.

-- source: Xinhua News Agency

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