JINAN, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The mansion, temple and grave site of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, are undergoing a government-funded renovation from March to August in east China's Shandong Province.
Zhou Peng, deputy director of Qufu Cultural Heritage Bureau, said the total investment was 25.96 million yuan (3.8 million U.S. dollars) with 7.8 million from the central government and the rest from Qufu municipal government.
The fund would be mainly used to improve infrastructure at the sites, with improvements to the surrounding environment and new exhibition facilities, said Zhou.
Part of the fund, 3.94 million yuan, was earmarked to preserve the site of the ancient capital of the Lu Kingdom (1042 B.C.-256 B.C.), in which Confucius lived, since the site had been damaged by farming and tree planting, Zhou said.
Confucius' mansion, temple and cemetery were listed as World Cultural Heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994.
During the five-month renovation, tourists could still visit the sites, Zhou said.
Confucius (551 B.C.-479 B.C.) set up the first private school in China and had 3,000 disciples, of whom 72 became accomplished in their own right.
The teachings of Confucius center on peace and social harmony. His proverbs were collected in the "Analects" by his students.