Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves, China
© UNESCO 2003
National implementing agency: National Administration for Cultural Heritage
Project duration: September 2001 - December 2003
Total project budget: US $ 678,000 (PHASE I)
The Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, named after the neighbouring village of Kumtura, contain an outstanding collection of Buddhist Quici art that has survived more than 1,500 years of war and natural damage. These caves provide unique examples of the blending of western and eastern styles of art, having historical, cultural and scientific value to the world as a whole.
To prevent further damage to the caves, UNESCO has launched a project to strengthen the structure of the caves and to protect the mural paintings inside. The Xinjiang Government, in a demonstration of support for the protection of the site, has closed down the nearby hydro-electric power station and relocated 200 workers elsewhere.
The first phase of the project started in August 2001, Chinese and Japanese experts
collaborating to guarantee that the project would be carried out to the highest possible standards. In 2002, the mapping, photography, surveys, inspections of the paintings and protective tests were completed, providing a sound basis for drawing up a Master Plan for the restoration of the Kumtura Thousand Buddha Caves.
(Extract from "Preservation of Tangible Cultural Heritage through the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust" p.13)
Copyright : 2013 Permanent Delegation of Japan to UNESCO