Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites, Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang, People's Republic of China, June 28–July 3, 2004

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Neville Agnew
Getty Publications, Aug 3, 2010 - Art - 516 pages

The Mogao grottoes, a World Heritage Site near the town of Dunhuang in western China, are located on the edge of the Gobi Desert, along the ancient caravan routes—collectively known as the Silk Road—that once linked China with the West. Founded by Buddhist monks as an isolated monastery in the late fourth century, Mogao grew gradually over the following millennium, as monks, local rulers, and travelers carved hundreds of cave temples into a mile-long rock cliff, and adorned them with vibrant murals portraying episodes from Buddhist scripture, luxuriant portraits of Silk Road rulers, and richly detailed scenes of everyday life. The Mogao caves developed into a spiritual and artistic mecca whose renown extended from the Chinese capitals to the far western reaches of Central Asia.

 

Today there remain more than 490 grottoes, the walls of which are decorated with some 45,000 square meters of wall paintings, making Mogao one of the world’s most significant sites of Buddhist art. This volume contains the proceedings of the second conference on the conservation of Silk Road grotto sites cosponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy, under the aegis of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People’s Republic of China.

 

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