by Xinhua writer Chen Wenxian
JERUSALEM, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- An exhibition featuring the Mogao Grottoes, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwest China's Gansu Province, was kicked off on Thursday evening at the China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv of Israel, which fascinated lots of Israeli audiences.
The exhibition includes two parts, the digital Dunhuang exhibition with the title of "the Pearl of the Silk Road Living in Digitized Eternity" and the Chinese painting exhibition with the title of "Pilgrimage Dunhuang."
Wearing virtual reality (VR) glasses, Israeli visitors appreciated interactively the famous caves, sculptures and paintings from Mogao Grottoes, located in Dunhuang of China's Gansu Province.
Dozens of Chinese paintings presenting Mogao Grottoes arts also attracted Israelis. These paintings were created by Gansu Art Institute.
A specialist from Dunhuang Academy presented a lecture about Dunhuang, from which Israeli audience had a better understanding and impression over Dunhuang and its Mogao Grottoes arts.
Dunhuang is a famous historical and cultural site in China and is an important city along the ancient silk road, a bustling trade route linking China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, said Tao Chen, the director of the China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition event.
Among all Dunhuang attractions, the Mogao Grottoes is undoubtedly the most prestigious around the world, said Tao, adding that it is world-renowned for its Buddhist murals, sculptures, and impressive library, and it is one of the three greatest Buddhist sculptural sites in China.
Gansu is located at the important crossroads for the ancient cultural exchanges between the East and West and the ancient silk road as well, and Mogao Grottoes are the unique arts treasure for China and for the whole world, said Wang Chunsheng, the deputy director general of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Gansu Province.
Wang headed a cultural delegation which is comprised of specialists and artists from Dunhuang Academy and Gansu Arts Institute to bring the exhibition for Israeli audience.
The arts exhibition event is expected to shorten the distance between Gansu and Israel and promote the mutual cultural and arts exchange, said Wang.
It is a lovely experience and lovely opportunity to visit the Mogao Grottoes without actually having to drive through the desert, said 66-year-old Daniel Bairey after he wore the VR glasses with his wife to enjoy the Mogao Grottoes.
It is an incredible cultural heritage with tremendous treasure of Buddhist knowledge, said Bairey, who visited China twice, in an interview with Xinhua. He added he had a tremendous interest in Chinese culture and would like to know more.
The exhibition was sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Gansu Province and the China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv, and organized by Dunhuang Academy and Gansu Arts Institute.
The Mogao Grottoes are home to collections of Buddhist artwork -- more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals -- in 735 caves carved along a cliff.
Nowadays, the site is an important tourist attraction and the subject of archeological studies. It was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1987.