Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites

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Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: An International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites is planned for October 3-8, 1993 in Dunhuang, The People's Republic of China. The conference is co-sponsored by the Getty Conservation Institute, the Dunhuang Academy, and the Chinese National Institute of Cultural Property.

The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the conservation and management of grotto sites, with particular emphasis on the Buddhist sites along the Silk Road. Since the conference's announcement last year, a wide variety of professionals from around the world have indicated an interest in attending and in presenting papers. This diversity in participation will help satisfy one of the conference's principal aims: to encourage international dialogue between specialists in all aspects of cultural preservation.

The conference will include visits to the Mogao Grottoes, a World Heritage Site located outside Dunhuang. Since 1989, the GCI, the State Bureau of Cultural Relics of The People's Republic of China, and the Dunhuang Academy have been collaborating on the conservation of the Mogao Grottoes, which include statuary and paintings dating back to the 4th century.

A post-conference tour visiting Silk Road sites between Dunhuang and Uromqi, Xinjiang province, is also planned. The dry climate of the region has preserved many cultural monuments that now require the attention of the conservation community if they are to survive modern development.