A digital center to strengthen the protection of ancient murals in the grottoes of Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, has been set up in the Dunhuang Research Institute.
Wang Xudong, deputy director of the institute, said the center will collect and store information about the murals in digital form, which can be used for the display of the grottoes and to repair murals.
The institute has realized the importance of digital technologies in the protection of cultural relics, which are mainly murals and painted sculptures, Wang said.
The institute has cooperated with organizations home and abroad in digital information collection, storage and display of the murals, Wang added.
Dating from 336 AD, the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, also known as the Caves of 1,000 Buddhas, are listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
A total of 735 caves have been found and frescos on the inside wall cover an area of 45,000 square meters, with over 2,000 colored Buddha statues.
Mogao Grottoes is located on the eastern slope of Rattling Sand Mountain in the southeast of Dunhuang County in Gansu province.
(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2006)