China to restore historic Tibetan murals

June 8, 2012 at 6:56 PM
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LHASA, Tibet, June 8 (UPI) -- Archaeologists in Tibet say they have begun restoration work on ancient frescos depicting life in an ancient Tibetan kingdom.

Experts will repair almost 1,000 square yards of murals spread through five palace halls and one grotto in the Guge Kindom Ruins, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

The ruins, located in Ngari Prefecture, were once a city in the Guge Kingdom that ruled western Tibet beginning around the 10th century but disappeared mysteriously during the 17th century, archaeologists with the Cultural Relics Bureau of the Ngari Prefecture said.

Depicting the kingdom's politics, economy, technology and society, the murals feature a unique painting style combining Tibetan, Indian and Nepal elements, project leader Fu Peng said.

Natural and human damage and contamination have caused some murals to peel from their original locations and the works are in urgent need of restoration, Fu said.

The restoration, estimated to cost $1.58 million, is part of the Chinese governmental efforts to maintain the Guge Kingdom Ruins.

The ruins in China's Tibetan autonomous region are the first group of historical relics placed under state protection in China.

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