Guanyin statue carved during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279)
Known as the ‘Goddess of Mercy’, the sculpture has more than 1,000 arms
After eight-year restoration project, it will be on public display from June 13
Project to repair statue, which started in 2008, cost tens of millions of yuan
By KHALEDA RAHMAN and EDWARD CHOW FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 05:50 EST, 7 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:18 EST, 7 May 2015
A Buddhist statue that is more than eight hundred years old has been restored to its former glory and will soon be on public display in China after an eight-year conservation project.
Cultural experts gathered in Dazu, near Chongqing, to see the unveiling of the UNESCO-listed Guanyin statue in Baoding Mountain yesterday, the People’s Daily Online reported.
The Dazu Thousand-hand Bodhisattva was carved during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279).
The Category 1 National Relic – of a deity known as the ‘Goddess of Mercy’ – has 1,007 arms and an eye in each palm.
The statue’s bright golden colour lost its lustre over the centuries, cracks appeared in the sculpture and part of one of its many fingers fell off in 2007.
A restoration project, which began in 2008 and cost tens of millions of yuan, is finally complete and the statue will be on display to the public from June 13.
Zhan Zhangfa, the China Academy of Cultural Heritage Project’s team leader, said: ‘This stone statue is a rarity anywhere in the world and rightly deserves its classification of Category 1 National Stone Relic Conservation Project.’
The conservation team used the most advanced X-ray and infra-red technology to analyse the statue and found various factors that have affected its structural integrity.
Researchers found that the intense heat of Chongqing summers, which have a particularly oppressive humidity, which results in the surface of the Guanyin statue being covered in moisture. Continue reading