The digitalization of 1600-year-old Jinta Temple Grottoes in the city of Zhangye, northwest China's Gansu Province, has been completed, local authorities said Wednesday.
Launched in June, the digitalization project covers the grottoes' eastern and western caves, and the murals and colored sculptures inside.
Located in the Qilian Mountains, the grottoes, built on fragile red sandstone with an altitude of more than 2,800 meters, undergo severe cold in the winters and humidity in summers. Though the local cultural protection authorities have taken necessary measures, the grottoes still face risks including weathering and efflorescence, according to Yao Guilan, director of the institute for cultural heritage preservation in Zhangye.
"The digital technology can not only help to permanently preserve the cultural relics but also provide essential data for future research and online exhibitions," said Yao.
Jinta Temple Grottoes, famous for the unique high relief sculptures with the pattern of flying apsaras, include more than 200 colored sculptures as well as murals spanning a total of over 500 square meters.