Xi'an Bell Tower reopened to the public on August 26, after more than 70 days of the maintenance work on its roof and rafters. In order to prolong the life of the tower, the Museum of Xi'an Bell and Drum Towers began to repair the roof and outer golden columns on June 12. This is the sixth restoration work to the tower since 1949, and the last overhaul was in 2011, according to the museum.
According to Wang Lei, the director of the museum, due to the long-term exposure of wind, rain and sunshine, the tower roof suffered from the rain leakage and partial peeling of its ornaments. The difficult part of the renovation is gilding the roof. The 3,800 pieces of the gold foil, weighing about 70 grams, were used to renovate the roof. It was restored for the first time in 25 years. The roof has four layers, with the innermost a wooden core wrapped up in a copper sheet. The copper skin is scraped with putty covered with gold foil.
Xi'an Bell Tower is a landmark bell tower with a history of over 600 years in the center of Xi'an. The Bell Tower was built in 1384 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is a 36-meter wood-and-brick structure known as one of the largest and best-preserved bell towers in China.