In Southwest China, an effort is getting underway to restore one of the world’s biggest Buddhist statues. According to the cultural authorities of Chongqing municipality, the eight-year project will fully assess the colossal artifact and bring back its former grandeur.
The statue, measuring 31 meters from head to toe, is the world’s largest stone statue of Buddha in a reclining pose. It is also the largest artifact at the Dazu Rock Carvings, a site dating as far back as the 9th century, in the Tang Dynasty.
In addition to the reclining Buddha, the Dazu site is home to some 50,000 Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian rock carvings, accompanied by various inscriptions and epigraphs. Commissioned by believers from the 9th to the 13th centuries, all of them are located in the grottos on steep hillsides.