Ancient Buddha statues restored in China

May 7, 2012 at 8:50 PM

YECHENG, China, May 7 (UPI) -- Chinese archaeologists say they have restored more than 50 Buddha statues from thousands of fragments unearthed in the northern province of Hebei.

The Buddha statues, mostly made of white marble and blue stone, are believed to date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties, from 534-577 B.C., the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The restoring task is arduous, as it involves complicated procedures to protect the statues' coloring, reinforce their gold foil and join their pieces together," He Liqun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

A team of archaeologists unearthed 2,895 Buddha statues and statue fragments in Yecheng, a 2,500-year-old ancient city, in January.

The restoration team created a detailed plan based on the original features of the statues, and expects to restore more statures using the unearthed components, He said.

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