The Mogao Grottoes, a World Heritage Site in northwestern China, are located along ancient caravan routes—collectively known as the Silk Road— that once linked China with the West. Founded by a Buddhist monk in the late fourth century, Mogao flourished for a millennium as monks, local rulers, and travelers commissioned hundreds of cave temples cut into a mile-long rock cliff and adorned them with vibrant murals. More than 490 decorated grottoes remain, containing thousands of sculptures and some 45,000 square meters of wall paintings, making Mogao one of the world's most significant sites of Buddhist art.
In 1997 the GCI, which had been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989, began a case study using the Late Tang dynasty Cave 85 to develop a methodology for stabilizing deteriorating wall paintings. This thoroughly illustrated volume is the definitive report on the project, completed in 2010.
Lori Wong is a wall painting conservator and project specialist at the GCI. Neville Agnew, a GCI senior principal project specialist, is coauthor of Cave Temples of Mogao: Art and History on the Silk Road (Getty Publications, 2001) and editor of Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road (Getty Publications, 2010).