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80-year-old craftsman leads "beautification" of Potala Palace

2018-10-30 16:11:00|

Since October 17, the Potala Palace in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet has been undergoing its annual "painting season", when the entire palace will be covered in fresh white, red, and yellow, just like a total "beautification" process.

This "beautification" event has been going on for more than 300 years, while the Potala Palace itself is an ancient building more than 1,300 years old. As the highest palace in the world, the annual whitewash will help prevent it from erosion of rains and hails.

Nearly 400 volunteers from Lhasa are undertaking the job of transporting paint materials, but the most demanding painting tasks of craft and technical requirements are taken by staff from the Maintenance Department of the Potala Palace Management Office. They tie long ropes around their waists and hang in the air like "Spidermen", painting the outer walls of the Potala Palace by splashing the paint against the building.

These "Spidermen" working high above the ground have limited vision and range of motion while in the air, but they listen to the voice of a person below who guides them to go right or left, throw the paint lighter or heavier, till finally each surface of the palace walls has an even and smooth coating of paint.

Following the sound of the voice, a thin elderly man is seen standing on platform not far away. He is focused on each movement of the "Spidermen" above, and from time to time he raises the loudspeaker in his hands to call out to them, disregarding the paint that drips down on his arms and body.

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