China begins restoring 15,000-year-old Buddhist grottoes

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In an attempt to protect the 15000-year-old Yungang Buddhist Grottoes in northern Shanxi Province from withering, Chinese archaeologists and engineers have started restoration work. 

The restoration of the world heritage site will take two years to complete and will cost approximately 50 million yuan, said Zhang Zhuo, head of Yungang Grottoes Research Institute. 

Zhuo added that the grottoes are facing serious threat of erosion as most of the original protective eaves have been damaged with time. 

The engineers will first work on six most-damaged grotto caves, where some of the grotto columns are likely to collapse, reports Xinhua. 

The carving of the grottoes started 1,500 years ago. It was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2001.  

Source: New Kerala [May 08, 2011]

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