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Sleeping Buddha damaged in earthquake
( 2003-11-09 11:36) (Xinhua)

China's largest indoor sleeping Buddha statue was damaged in the latest earthquake in Zhangye City, northwest China's Gansu Province.

The statue is about 35 meters long and 7.5 meters broad at the shoulders.

The base of the statue has sunk and the stomach has a crack nine meters long and one centimeter wide. The temple housing the statue has also been damaged with cracks in walls, said Deng Kun, curator of Zhangye Municipal Museum.

Two earthquakes measuring 6.1 and 5.8 on the Richter scale hit areas between Minle County and Shandan County in Zhangye City on Oct. 25.

Built in 1098, the temple housing the Buddha statue, covers 23,000 square meters and is also famous for containing a rare Buddhist scripture written in gold and silver powder in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Zhangye, with 1.2 million people, sits on the Silk Road, which for centuries was the path of merchants between Europe and China, and is a popular tourist destination.

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