Wednesday, September 20, 2006

One fresco in a Mogao Grotto

Dunhuang Grotto Relics Facing Serious Damages

Experts have warned that more and more tourist visiting Mogao Grotto in Dunhuang, Gansu are bringing more harm to the precious and yet fragile fresco in the caves, Guangming Daily reported. Since 1979, more than four million visitors have been to the site, and there were over 300,000 visitors every year in the past five years and the number keeps rising. Experts say large groups of visitors cause temperature and humidity changes inside the caves, and leave a lot of vapor and carbon dioxide there, which erodes the fresco. Experts are trying to work out better approaches to protect the relics while keeping it open to tourists.

There are about one thousand grottos in Dunhuang, some made more than 1000 years ago. Most of the caves have statures featuring Buddhism figures and splendid fresco depicting images and stories based on Buddhism scriptures. The surrounding area of the grottos is mostly deserted, and the extremely dry condition has been helpful to protect the relics, which is listed as the World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

What Chinese Cities Have the Best Life?
Shenzhen, Qingdao and Hangzhou are ranked top three cities with best living quality in China, according to a report released in Beijing on Wednesday. Shanghai is listed the fifth, and Beijing did not make top ten, China News Service reported. Other top ten cities include Yantan and Dalian. The ranking was decided by experts’ survey and evaluation, as well as public votes via the Internet.

Law to be Established to Protect the Great Wall
A Great Wall Protection Regulation draft was passed on Wednesday by the State Council, China News Service reported. The new regulation will stress local governments’ responsibility in protecting the Great Wall sections within their region.

The Great Wall has been suffering damages in recent years, mostly caused by human activities, such as road construction and doodle on the bricks. There have been some local regulations dealing with protection of the legacy, but not one on the national level.

----By Josie Liu

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