Restoration of Buddhist grottoes underway in north China

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-10 21:10:35|Editor: huaxia

HOHHOT, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- A total of 10 grottoes with murals of 250.63 square meters have been restored in Arjai Grottoes in the city of Erdos, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The site has 65 grottoes, of which 41 are well preserved. Murals have been found in 13 of the preserved grottoes, mainly dating between the Western Xia (1038-1227) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, according to Mergenchulu, director of the Arjai Grottoes Research Institute.

Restoration can help delay the decay of the murals, resulting from erosion caused by harsh natural conditions in the vast pasture area, said Mergenchulu.

"The preservation of the grottoes has been carried out in cooperation with Dunhuang Academy China, and it is also aimed at exploring the historical, artistic and cultural values of the murals," Mergenchulu said.

In addition to the 10 restored grottoes, three more will be restored next year. Sun Junyong, head of the restoration program, said in order to preserve the original materials, experts used digital photography and other methods to collect and store electronic data of the murals.

The murals in the grottoes depict scenes such as yurts, horse riding and shooting, hunting, and funeral customs. It is the only Buddhist art site so far preserved in China's grassland areas, which integrates temples, grottoes, cliff carvings, murals and sculptures.

The restoration program in Arjai Grottoes that was initiated in 2018 is scheduled to be completed by 2021. Enditem