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|Wednesday, April 18, 2001, updated at 08:49(GMT+8)|
Facelift of Giant Buddha Advances QuicklyAbout half of the renovation to the giant Buddha in Leshan of southwest China's Sichuan Province has been completed.
Up to now, the repair on the stone Buddha's head, hand and feet has been completed. The grey chignon of the Buddha has been blackened, its face painted and holes on its toes have been filled and made even.
As the Buddha's head, chest, neck and shoulders cover a total area of 560 square meters, nearly 50 workers and seven technicians are working simultaneously on the Buddha almost round the clock.
The 1,280 year-old Buddha statue, sitting on a cliff, 71 meters from top to bottom and 28 meters from left to right, is 18 meters higher than the standing Buddha statue at Bamiyan Valley, Afghanistan, once thought to be the highest of its kind in the world. It was included in the World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 1996. In recent years, erosion has become a serious threat to the statue.
The facelift of the Buddha image started early this month. It will cost 250 million yuan (US$30 million) in all, including US$2 million in World Bank loans.
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