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Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road
Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road
Proceedings of an International Conference
Held at the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang

Edited by Neville Agnew

Getty Conservation Institute
480 pages, 8 5/16 x 11 11/16 inches
125 b/w illustrations, 2 maps
ISBN 978-0-89236-416-9
paper, Out of Print  1997


The Mogao Grottoes, a World Heritage Site near Dunhuang City in the Gobi Desert, are located on the ancient caravan route—known as the Silk Road—that once linked China with the West. At Dunhuang, generations of Buddhist monks created hundreds of rock temples. Nearly five hundred of these grotto temples remain, lined with painted clay sculptures and wall paintings that depict legends, portraits, customs, and the arts of China over a one-thousand-year period.

This volume of symposium proceedings marks the culmination of the first phase of the Getty Conservation Institute's collaborative project with the State Bureau of Cultural Relics of the People's Republic of China and the Dunhuang Academy. The book also represents the first conference to bring together Chinese and Western scholars on the subject of grotto conservation. Various approaches to site management are discussed along with conservation principles and practice, and geotechnical and environmental issues. Individual articles address visitors' impact on the microenvironment of caves, nondestructive techniques for analyzing local stone and pigment, methods of protecting caves from ongoing environmental damage, research on ancient painting materials and techniques, and analyses of stone sculpture. Nearly fifty articles are included, many translated from the Chinese.

Neville Agnew is associate director, programs, the Getty Conservation Institute. He is the author of numerous research publications in chemistry and conservation, and his conservation work with the Institute has focused on the preservation of heritage sites in such places as New Mexico, China, and Africa.

This title is out of print. Please look for it at your local libraries and/or used bookstores.

The papers from the Second International Conference of Grotto Sites can be found here.

Related Getty Conservation Institute projects: China Principles, Wall Paintings Conservation, Site Conservation at the Mogao and Yungang Grottoes

Series: Symposium Proceedings

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