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Scattered cultural gems sparkle once more

By Yang Feiyue | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-14 08:04
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A repaired protective structure for rock carvings at the Duimianfo site in Dazu.CHINA DAILY

Moreover, the ability of relics to resist the collapse of rock mass, water damage and weathering has been significantly improved, all potential risks present in the original protective architecture have been dealt with, and the structures have been given more distinctive local characteristics.

The infrastructure and environment around the cave temples has also been improved, and precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure their protection.

"Construction takes into full consideration the integration with the rural vitalization strategy," Jiang says.

"By building new pedestrian pathways, public restrooms and courtyards, as well as adding tables and chairs for leisure use and improving protection and signage, the changes have paved the way for cultural activities that are accessible to local residents," he adds.

Long Gewen, a villager from Zhongao, has been guarding the small- and medium-sized cave temples in his neighborhood for over a decade.

"Everything scattered within a radius of 1,000 meters is my responsibility," the man, who is in his 60s, says.

"I need to keep an eye on the cultural relics to ensure their safety, while doing a little cleaning every day."

Long is one of many villagers hired by the local government to keep watch over the scattered cave temples.

Every year, safety training and work reviews are held for villagers, says Liu Jian, an official from the academy's planning and construction division.

"All cave temple sites have been covered, and some have been placed under observation 24 hours a day by two patrollers taking turns," Liu says.

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