1,300-year-old statue revived using digital tech in central China

Source: Xinhua Published: 2020/10/16 14:29:21

Tourists take part in a night tour at the Longmen Grottoes scenic area in Luoyang, central China's Henan Province, June 8, 2020.Photo:Xinhua

The Longmen Grottoes, a world cultural heritage site in central China's Henan Province, restored a damaged Buddha statue using digital technology so visitors can see the original look of the 1,300-year-old figure.

The statue was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and a part of its face between the bun and nose later went missing.

Using documented records, image information and similar statues built during the period as references, experts have virtually restored its original look.

Visitors can virtually view the intact colorful appearance of the figure by scanning the damaged statue through a mobile app, said Shi Jiazhen, head of the research institute of the Longmen Grottoes.

Located in the city of Luoyang, the site has more than 2,300 grottoes with 110,000 Buddhist figures and images, over 80 dagobas, and 2,800 inscribed tablets created between the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557) and Song Dynasty (960-1279).

In the early 20th Century, the grottoes were largely damaged and looted, with many Buddha statues carried overseas. The statue was damaged at some time between 1910 and 1923, said Gao Junping, head of the institute's information center.

The grottoes initiated a three-dimensional digitalization project in 2005 and, 80 percent of the grottoes have already received a three-dimensional scan.

"The application of a series of digital technology is helpful for the revival of the heritage and the inheritance of culture," said Shi.


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