A new exhibition showcasing digital replicas of murals and sculptures from Buddhist temples in North China's Shanxi Province kicked off on Tuesday at the National Library of China (NLC) in Beijing.
Hosted by the Chinese Fine Art Research and Development Center (CFARDC) under the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association and the Cultural Relics Collection and Authentication Committee under the Chinese Society of Cultural Heritage, Inheritance and Protection: Temple Arts from Shanxi Province features 30 digital replicas of murals located in temples and monasteries throughout Shanxi Province.
The replicas on display are the result of five years worth of effort by a team of experts from Guwenming, a Beijing-based institution dedicated to the protection of traditional Chinese culture and art.
Starting in 2011, the team photographed and scanned murals and sculptures in 414 temples across Shanxi Province to gather the information needed to create the replicas.
At the opening of the exhibition, the Guwenming team donated copies of these digital replicas to the NLC. Zhang Zhiqing, an associate curator at NLC, said that the library will use the donated material for research and public education purposes.
A number of representatives from Chinese cultural and religious organizations attended the event.
At the opening, CFARDC Director Liu Youye announced that the exhibition's organizers are also currently planning a nationwide tour for later this year.
The exhibition comes at a time when cultural protection in Shanxi has come under fire.
In March, news that hundreds of murals in temples in Shanxi had been stolen shocked the country, sparking public discussion over whether local authorities have been doing enough to protect relics.
Home to the famous Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi Province is an important location for Buddhist historic sites. According to data from CFARDC, murals in the province could cover an area of 25,000 square meters in total.