China to restore protective eaves to ancient Buddhist grottoes

Yungang Buddhist Grottoes is a world heritage site in northern Shanxi Province.

Last Updated: May 10, 2011, 10:26 AM IST

Beijing: Chinese archaeologists and
engineers are working to restore protective eaves and attics
to the 15,000-year-old Yungang Buddhist Grottoes, a world
heritage site in northern Shanxi Province, to slow down its
weathering.
The restoration is to take two years and cost roughly
around 50 million yuan (USD 7.69 million), said Zhang Zhuo,
head of Yungang Grottoes Research Institute.

He said the grottoes are facing serious threat of
erosion as most of the original protective eaves have been
damaged over time.

Engineers will first work on six most-damaged grotto
caves, where some of the grotto columns are likely to
collapse, he said.
The Yungang Buddhist Grottoes in Datong City boast
51,000 Buddhist images in 53 caves stretching for one
kilometre along a cliff.

The carving of the grottoes started 1,500 years ago.

It was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site
in 2001, `Xinhua` news agency reported.

PTI