Lhasa, Tibet — An academy in the so called Tibet Autonomous Region has reportedly trained more than 300 painters of Thangka, a traditional Tibetan Buddhist art form, says the Chinese Communist totalitarian state controlled media.
"Since 2012, Tibet Thangka Painting Academy in Lhasa has trained students from low-income families free of charge to help preserve the cultural heritage," the Chinese state controlled media "Xinhua" reported on Saturday.
"Thangka paintings are Tibetan Buddhist artworks painted on cotton or silk by ethnic Tibetan artists across China. The religious paintings can be traced back to the 10th century and typically depict images of Buddhist deities," the report said.
The report claimed that "Currently, more than 2,000 professional painters in Tibet create thousands of intricate Thangka paintings worth over 100 million yuan (15 million U.S. dollars) annually."
Norbu Sidar, a Tibetan who is head of the academy told Xinhua that they plan to expand the academy to cultivate more Thangka painters.
The Chinese Communist regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.