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Shaolin Temple sues govt for delayed ticket earnings

Updated: 2014-09-19 10:39

Shaolin Temple sues govt for delayed ticket earnings

File photo of the Pagoda Forest, a scenic spot inside Shaolin Temple. [Photo/chinanews.com]

Shaolin Temple is suing the local tourism office for nearly 50 million yuan ($8 million) in delayed ticket dividends and over 2 million yuan ($323,000) of default fine.

Shaolin Temple, built over 1,500 years ago in Dengfeng, Henan province, is China's best-known Buddhist monastery and the birthplace of kung fu. The time-honored temple welcomes well over 1.5 million visitors each year, charging 100 yuan ($16) for each full price entry.

In December 2009, the temple struck a deal with the local scenic area management committee over management of its ticket income. According to the deal, Shaolin Temple gets 30 yuan ($5) of each 100 yuan ticket, which the committee pays the temple every month.

However, the temple says that from November 2011 to October 2013, it did not receive full payments. According to the temple's statistics, the committee owes a total of 49.7 million yuan, plus a penalty of 2.32 million yuan.

But the committee says it has a different method of calculation, arguing that even though the full ticket price is 100 yuan, certain groups of people are charged half price, or not at all.

"Some visitors enter the temple for free. In these cases we don't get a single penny. How do we give money to the temple?" said a person on the committee.

It's not the first time the two parties have gotten into a dispute over money.

In 2005, the temple reported to the Zhengzhou government about delayed ticket dividends from the committee. By 2011 it was still unsettled, and multiple local governments stepped in. At last, the Dengfeng municipal government offered the temple 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) and settled the debt incurred from 2005 to 2010.

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