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Wednesday, January 12, 2000, updated at 19:03(GMT+8)
Culture 600-year-old Temple Frescoes Unveiled

Three large frescoes dating back to the Ming Dynasty 1,400 years ago were discovered recently in a small temple in Jianshui County in Yunnan Province, southwest China, during a face-lift project.

One colored and two black-and-white wall paintings, which had been covered with a thick layer of ash for more than 600 years, were carefully removed from the walls by some experts in the local Zhilin Temple some 500 kilometers south of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan.

The now-vivid colored fresco shows a total of 32 figures of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and the other two carry images of people and peacocks -- a good luck symbol to ancient Chinese.

The black-and-white paintings were unfinished according to some experts in charge of the excavation project, but no details as to why they were abandoned midway were provided.

Archeologists have used advanced techniques to detach the frescoes from the wall. The paintings have been moved to the prefectural museum for better protection and research.

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