#52 Temple Dongjingyuan: How to bring a Ancient Temple Back to Life?

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Not far from the Forbidden City lies Temple Dongjingyuan (Temple 东景缘), formerly knowed as the Zhizhu Temple. It was founded at the beginning of the 15th century, and the current buildings date from 1700. Centuries after it was founded, and decades after it was decommissioned for religious services in the 1950s, the place is miraculously still standing and is a center of culture in the neighborhood.

In 2007, Juan van Wassenhove and Lin fan (林凡) decided to restore the place and run it as a cultural heritage enterprise. How do they manage to keep the place afloat and find a balance between preserving the history and making a profit ?

Middle Earth is distributed by The World of Chinese (www.theworldofchinese.com). Every two months, both in print and online, the team at TWOC takes a contemporary issue in Chinese society and culture, and looks behind the headlines to share how it affects people on the ground.

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With thanks to Sean Calvo for music support.

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