Beijing: China plans to restore a 750-year-old Buddhist monastery that was damaged in an earthquake. The government has approved the conservation of the ruins of the Trangu monastery, said officials in Qinghai province.

The monastery, nestled among mountains near Gyegu town, was reduced to rubble, Xinhua reported.

Twenty-three monks of Trangu monastery died in the quake that also leveled most buildings in Gyegu April 14, 2010. Thousands of Buddha sculptures and scrolls of scriptures were buried under the rubble.

'The monastery was an invaluable relic, with a rich cultural value that is hard to replicate,' said Dong Zhiqiang, an official.

By conserving it, we will be able to save the precious cultural resources for future generations, said Dong.

The government said it would spend 990 million yuan (over USD155 million) to restore the 87 monasteries damaged in the quake.

Li Chenggang, an engineer, described the project as 'most challenging'.

(Agencies)