Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Shaolin Temple denies flotation report

shaolin monk
Shaolin monks are famous around the world

The ancient Shaolin temple - famous for its fighting kung-fu monks - has denied a report that it is planning to list on the stock exchange.

The government body responsible for the 1,500-year-old temple's tourism said it was "absolutely untrue".

However, the Dengfeng government said it was in talks with China Travel Service about a new tourism joint venture in the Songhan mountains.

China Travel confirmed the talks but said it was too soon to comment.

Many have criticised the commercialisation of the temple and the shrine's martial artist monks had opposed any share-listing plans.

The temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, took over in the 1990s and has aggressively promoted the Shaolin brand, acting as executive producer in martial arts films based on the temple and upgrading temple facilities for tourists.

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