CHONGQING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Restoration work on a sleeping Buddha statue in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has begun and is expected to last more than eight years, local authorities said Friday.
The sleeping Buddha is part of the Dazu Rock Carvings, a World Heritage site, which boasts 50,000 statues in Dazu County.
The bust of the Buddha statue measures 31 meters long. Li Fangyin, head of the Academy of Dazu Rock Carvings, said the Buddha statue has suffered severe erosion and weathering, and paint on the statue has peeled off.
The workers will try their best to preserve the integrity and authenticity of the statue, Li said, adding that, given the difficulties of restoration, the work will take at least eight years.
The Dazu Rock Carvings date from the 9th to 13th centuries and were placed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999.