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Chinese archaeologists restore over 50 Buddha statues

(Xinhua)

07:58, April 27, 2012

SHIJIAZHUANG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists have finished restoring over 50 Buddha statues from thousands of fragments unearthed in north China's Hebei Province, an archaeological researcher said Thursday.

"The restoring task is arduous, as it involves complicated procedures to protect the statues' coloring, reinforce their gold foil and join their pieces together," said Dr. He Liqun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

He said his team created a detailed restoration plan based on the original features of the statues, adding that more statues are expected to be restored using the unearthed components.

A team of archaeologists from the CASS and the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage in January unearthed 2,895 Buddha statues and statue fragments in Yecheng, a 2,500-year-old ancient city located in what is now Linzhang county, according to He.

The Buddha statues, mostly made of white marble and blue stone, are believed to date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties (534-577). The archaeological finding is thought to be the largest of its kind since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

The city of Yecheng, built during the Spring and Autumn period (770 BC-476 BC), served as the political center during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) and the Northern Dynasty period (386-581).

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