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Proceedings of an International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites, Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang

Neville Agnew, Editor

The Mogao grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Dunhuang 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 500 of these grottoes remain; they are lined with painted clay sculptures and wall paintings that depict legends, people, customs, and the arts of China over a thousand-year period.

This volume of symposium proceedings marks the culmination of the first phase of the GCI'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 materials and techniques, and analyses of stone sculpture. More than 40 articles are included, many translated from Chinese.

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

400 pages, 8 5/16 x 10 11/16 inches
125 b/w illustrations, 2 maps
ISBN 0-89236-416-5, paper, $55.00

View this publication online as a PDF.