Tuesday, 17 January 2012

200 square meters of frescoes restored in Unesco-listed Mogao Grottoes

LANZHOU, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- About two hundred square meters of ancient frescoes found in the Mogao Grottoes in northwestern China's Gansu Province have been restored to their former glory in the past year, authorities confirmed on Monday. Experts explored new restoration techniques to save the degrading artworks both in caves and in the open air in the Dunhuang area of Gansu Province. They have made major achievements in rejuvenating the frescoes and protecting cultural heritage at the UNESCO World Heritage site, said Su Bomin, director of the protection institute of the Dunhuang Academy. In 2011, the restorers completed work on 125.91 square meters in 10 caves and another 109.1 square meters on the cliff, said Su. The 1,600-year-old Mogao Grottoes, or the Ancient Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, became China's first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. They feature more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes in over 730 caves spread across about 1,600 meters along a hill. Although most of the caves have been and remain closed to the public, many of the frescoes were showing various levels of degradation including flaking, fading and detaching from the walls. The Dunhuang Academy has brought together a group of professionals specializing in fresco restoration and explored a new technique to protect the artworks, said Su. Source: Xinhua

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