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|Wednesday, April 26, 2000, updated at 12:33(GMT+8)|
Shanxi to Hold Yungang Grotto Tourism FestivalNorth China's Shanxi Province will hold the China Datong Yungang Tourism Festival in the city of Datong from August 8 to 28.
Located in the north of Shanxi Province, Datong is an ancient town with a rich culture, and was the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 to 534 A.D.) for 97 years.
Datong is also famous for the Yungang Grotto, one of four largest grottoes in China, and the nine dragon wall built in 1392. Sixteen kilometers west of Datong, the Yungang Grotto was hewn out of a cliff side in a honeycomb pattern 1,500 years ago, forming grottoes that stretch for one kilometer.
There are 1,000 grottoes and some 100,000 Buddhist statues, the largest 17 meters high and the smallest two centimeters. An official of the organizing committee said the tourism festival will enhance Datong's status as a major cultural center. He said that during the festival an exhibition and a seminar on the grottoes will be held, along with various competitions such as mountain climbing, a bicycle race, and dancing and other performing arts.
Shanxi Province will apply this year to have its Yungang Grottoes included on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
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