More than 30 Chinese and Japanese experts of cultural relics have gathered in Luoyang to tackle the problems of erosion and water leakage that are threatening the Longmen Grottoes.
The Longmen Grottoes opened in the North Wei Dynasty 1,500 years ago is on the list of cultural heritages of the world. It is renowned for its numerous finely sculptured Buddhist statues, size and variety of theme matter. Due to natural and human factors, the rock cave walls have begun to strip off and the statues and tablets have seriously eroded. The calligraphy on the tablets that was clearly distinguishable in the 1970s can now hardly be discerned.
The experts from UNESCO, the world cultural heritage research center of the Beijing University, the Chinese culture research institute and the Palace museum suggest that there have to be a scientific protection plan. They proposed that new materials be applied to fill up the crevices and
scientific methods be used to clear away the dust on the statues.
(www.cenews.com.cn August 11, 2003)