Beijing: China has invested more than USD 9.38 million for the protection of Tibet's intangible cultural heritage over the past six years, a top official said on Sunday.

The Ministry of Culture has, at present, earmarked USD 5.1 million for the protection and inheritance of Tibet's intangible cultural heritage (ICH), Yang Jinzhi, Vice Minister of Culture, said.

The Government of Tibet has also allocated nearly USD 4.7 million for the region's ICH, Yang said at the ongoing 3rd China Tibetan Culture Forum.

More than 3,000 people were mobilized to conduct surveys over Tibet's ICH, during which nearly 500 ICH items were recorded and more than 1,000 ICH inheritors were listed, a news agency reported.

A total of 76 ICH items, including the traditional Tibetan medicine and paper, the Tibetan silk painting 'Thangka' and the Tibetan dance and music 'Nangma' were registered as country-level ICHs, while 53 Tibetan artists were listed as country-level ICH inheritors.

China has also set up a research institute and allocated a special fund to compile and publish the Epic of King Gesar, the world's longest orally narrated epic poem that speaks of the heroic deeds of legendary lord of Gesar, Yang said.

The two-day China Tibetan Culture Forum that opened on Saturday in Tibet was attended by more than 400 Tibetan experts from 17 countries and regions, the report said.

The first forum was held in Beijing in 2006 and the second was organized in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2007.