One of the world's largest stone Buddha statues will be covered with scaffolding for the next four months as part of a restoration project to fix large cracks across its chest and abdomen.
Experts began preliminary examinations of the 71-meter-tall Leshan Giant Buddha in Southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday to assess damages, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported.
Roads to the 1,300-year-old Maitreya Buddha statue will be closed temporarily to tourists for the project slated until February 4, 2019.
Carved into the side of Leshan Mountain, the Tang Dynasty (618-907) statue was started in 713 and took 90 years to complete.
It was listed as a UNSECO World Heritage Site in 1996.
This is not the first time the statue has undergone repairs. A 250 million yuan ($39 million) project was kicked off in 2001 to clean, mend cracks and install drainage pipes on the statue.
In 2007, the statue was repaired for weathering and acid rain damage, Xinhua reported.