April 30, 2010 / 4:06 PM / 10 years ago

Province to preserve chalk message

China's President Hu Jintao visits the quake-hit Gyegu town of Yushu county, Qinghai province April 18, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese experts are working to permanently preserve a chalk message written by President Hu Jintao this month at a school for survivors of a deadly quake in the remote Tibetan county of Yushu.

The blackboard, on which Hu wrote 12 Chinese characters during his visit to the Yushu School for Orphans after an earthquake there killed more than 2,000 people, has been removed and sent to the provincial museum, local media reported on Thursday.

“There will be new schools! There will be new homes!” the characters read. Hu led children who survived the quake in reading them aloud together in Mandarin.

One of China’s top historical relic preservation experts, professor Li Yuhu of Shaanxi Normal University, arrived in Qinghai to work on the board with another engineer.

“In order to preserve the characters forever, I need to do many experiments, adjust technical settings and design a special ... air-tight container to fit the board,” the university website (www.snnu.edu.cn) quoted him saying.

Li, who has repaired the world-famous Terracotta Warriors created for the First Emperor of China over 2,000 years ago, previously spent a year treating another blackboard that Hu wrote on two years ago.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also has a chalk message of condolence preserved in Sichuan, where a devastating earthquake claimed at least 80,000 lives in 2008.

Reporting by Liu Zhen and Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Chris lewis

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