LHASA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, is to apply for the city's old town to be awarded world cultural heritage status.
"Lhasa has more than 4,000 years of history, and is strewn with famous historical sites. It embodies the essence of Tibetan culture," said Chichala, secretary of the CPC committee in Lhasa, during the Forum on the Development of Tibet, which closed on Friday.
"We will actively apply for world heritage status," he said.
"Lhasa is a vibrant, yet ancient city -- the streets and buildings have been the scene of many stories over many centuries," he said.
More than 1.5 billion yuan has been spent on preserving of the old town. Seven streets and 56 buildings have been given protected status, he said.
Lhasa has 76 cultural heritage sites and 292 temples, palaces and other buildings are under state protection. Some sites including the 1,300-year-old Potala Palace are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.