Chinese experts have completed restoration of an 800-year-old statue of a Buddhist goddess, located in the country’s southwest province. The 1000 handed statue, 7.7 metres high and 12.5 metres wide, was carved during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279). It is a masterpiece among thousands of individual rock carvings in the grottoes in Dazu, some of which date back to as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907).They were listed as major World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1999.
The restoration project began in 2008 and was completed at a cost of about 60 million yuan (USD 9.8 million). Workers restored 830 hands and 227 instruments using one million gold foils .Over the centuries, the sculpture’s colour had faded with some of the gold foils peeling off and cracks appeared. The golden shine is expected to last for the next 50 years after the restoration.
The UNESCO-listed Qianshou Guanyin statue was unveiled on Baoding Mountain in Dazu, near Chongqing, and will be open to the public on June 13, 2015