Digitalization underway to preserve China's Dunhuang grottoes

Updated: December 24, 2020 Source:
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Experts have completed the digital scanning of the murals inside 12 caves of the Mogao Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so far this year as part of conservation efforts, the Dunhuang Academy said Wednesday.

The academy has also collected images of the murals inside 14 caves of the Western Thousand-Buddha Caves, another ancient grotto temple located in the city of Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, according to Yu Tianxiu, deputy director of the academy's cultural relics digitalization institute.

Yu said the digitalization project was inaugurated in the 1990s to create digital versions of the Mogao Grottoes and other grotto temples across the city. As of now, the project has completed the digital scanning of more than 230 grotto caves in Dunhuang.

People worldwide can access the high-definition images of 30 caves in Dunhuang by visiting the website "Digital Dunhuang," launched by the academy in 2016. The website, available in both Chinese and English, has so far seen more than 7 million visits.

The millennium-old Mogao Grottoes are home to a vast collection of Buddhist artworks -- more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals are located in 735 caves, carved along the cliffs by ancient worshippers.

China attaches great importance to the protection of its many ancient grotto temples. In early November, the State Council called for the use of digital technology and other advanced technologies to conserve and make better use of the grotto temples across the country.

Editor: Yu Huichen