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Buddha statue piece of cultural history


09:06, December 16, 2011

The damaged Buddha ( Photo)

Jinan (CNS) -- A 1,400-year-old Buddha statue, missing its head and four limbs, was excavated recently in east China's Shandong Province. It is a testament to the prosperity of Buddhism during ancient times, said the provincial archaeological authority.

The delicately carved 95cm-tall stone Buddha was unearthed at a construction site formerly occupied by a temple. The torso is extremely valuable from an aesthetic and artistic point of view, experts say.

The damage is regrettable, and not the only case of vandalism on the region's archaeological records. The statue was probably a victim of anti-Buddhism sentiments held during the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and related violent incidents, then was later "buried" by faithful followers.

The discovery site is where the ancient and highly respected governor Shun dug a spring in the 23rd-22nd century BC that still flows today, and is among the six most important cultural relic protection zones in the provincial capital of Jinan.

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