Experts to rescue old grotto

CULTURAL relic experts from both home and abroad have made a joint investigation at Luoyang city in Henan province to develop a rescue plan for a renowned Buddhist grotto, according to sources.  

The Longmen Grotto, a prestigious World Cultural Heritage Site dating back some 1,500 years ago, boasts 2,100 grottoes and niches, over 40 crematory urns, 3,600 inscribed stone tablets and 100,000 Buddhist images and statues.  

As most of the statues were carved into the cliff face, they had long suffered exposure to the combined harm of sun damage, rain erosion and atmospheric pollution, causing the rock to crumble and break off in chunks.  

After three days of field survey and inspection, more than 30 experts from Unesco, the World Cultural Relic Research Centre of Beijing (Peking) University, the China Relics Research Institute and the Beijing-based Palace Museum plan to use a kind of new material to reinforce the cracks and clear away calcium sediments on the statues.  

Ninety-seven cracks have been spotted and some inscriptions are being gradually erased by water erosion. – People’s Daily  

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