Skip to comments.Facelift For World's Tallest Ancient Buddha Statue In China
Posted on 11/08/2007 6:31:26 AM PST by blam
Facelift for world's tallest ancient Buddha statue in China
Tue Nov 6, 10:33 PM ET
AFP/File Photo: Tourists visit the 71-metre (234-feet) tall Leshan Giant Buddha, built in 713 AD in the...
BEIJING (AFP) - The world's tallest ancient Buddha statue, suffering from years of environmental damage, will get its latest facelift to fix damage from weathering and acid rain.
The 71-metre (237-foot) Leshan Buddha, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, is looking "somewhat battered" with a blackened nose, and with moss and dark streaks coating its face and body, official Xinhua news agency said.
The damage was due to acid rain, weathering and high humidity, Peng Xueyi, director of the Leshan Cultural Relics Management Institute, told Xinhua.
A team of scientists is currently carrying out preparation work for repairs next year, he said.
The Buddha, carved into a cliff face overlooking the point where the Dadu and Min rivers meet, was built over a 90-year period beginning in 713, during the Tang Dynasty.
It is 16 metres taller than the bigger of two giant carved Buddhas in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, both of which were destroyed in March 2001 by the then hardline ruling Taliban which considered them unIslamic.
The UN-listed world cultural heritage statue has already undergone several repairs in recent years.
In 2001, a 250-million-yuan (34-million-dollar) project was conducted to clean the body, cement rock structure, mend cracks and install drainage pipes.
Since 2003, thousands of residents have been moved away from the scenic area and 20 coal-fired power plants as well as other small factories have been relocated in a move to cut pollution damage.
But weathering as well as damage caused by visitors has outpaced the conservation work, Peng said, adding that maintenance projects needed to be carried out every five years.
Note the size of the tourists at the bottom of the photo.
More pictures here
While Iâm all for maintaining the statue, Iâm not so sure about the exhorbanant cost and necessity of moving thousands of people and businesses away.
Can I rub its belly?.............
Well, darn. Sometimes the Chicoms do good things, at least when it comes to preserving cultural heritage.
Yep blam, that’s a big buddha. Damn big.
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Thanx for the pic-very impressive.Like the contrast.
How about giving credit to modern civilization for having the attitude, the wealth, and the technology to fix it?
I remember the big scare about acid rain in the 1980s.
It was going to kill all our crops, and poison our soils, and the world was going to starve to death by the end of the 20th century.
The only thing that happened by the end of the century was that I gained a heck of a lot of weight. ;-)