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Researcher: mural in Mogao Grottoes misunderstood

(Xinhua)

08:21, April 19, 2012

File photo provided by Dunhuang Academy shows an ancient mural in the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang. The mural featuring a monk seemingly mimicking the signature pose of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch" has managed to amuse Chinese netizens. The mural didn't attract any attention until Chen Shiyu, a cultural magazine editor, photographed the mural and uploaded the picture onto douban.com. Thousands of netizens have forwarded the picture since Chen posted it, adding an album title "the Unexplainable Dunhuang" along with a photo of Marilyn Monroe's famous picture to highlight the similarities. For Zhao Shengliang, a senior researcher at Dunhuang Academy, however, the "Monroe parody" remark has completely missed the point. The mural painter drew a scene where the master was about to physically punish a student who had been misbehaving. This student was about to receive blows of a cane, and is leaning forward but also looks upset and scared, Zhao explained. Zhao suggested that netizens interested in Dunhuang should obtain authorized reading materials, through which people can have a thorough understanding of the Mogao Grottoes. (Xinhua)

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