Far view of Leshan Buddha
The Leshan Colossal Buddha in Sichuan has recently undergone the largest restoration since 713 during the Tang Dynasty (907-618), when the statue was carved.
At the time this statue was carved, a 13-story wooden building was built to protect it from the sun and rain. During the wars of the Late Dynasty (Yuan 1368-1271) and Early Dynasty (Ming 1368-1644), the protective building was destroyed in the war.
Since then, the Buddha statue has been exposed to wind and rain, and even wartime bullets can be seen in it.
Unfortunately, this statue has been eroded for hundreds of years due to the humidity of the atmosphere and the seepage of water from the mountain. The water that collects in the protruding part of the belly of the statue lowers the strength of the stone, and as a result, plants and fungi have quickly grown on the surface of the Buddha's body. Acid rain has blackened the statue's nose and its face is dotted.
It seems that there are two drops of tears in the corners of the Buddha's eyes and the skin has been torn off part of his body. According to historical documents and evidence, all the kings of the past, each in turn, did activities to keep this statue healthy. Throughout modern history, the Buddha statue has gone through 6 periods of restoration and comprehensive repairs, but all of them have been unsuccessful for some unknown reason or reasons.
The attention of the whole world has been drawn to protect this statue. UNESCO has sent a group of its experts to the region for consultation in this field, and the World Bank has offered a loan of 8 million US dollars, without interest, for the protection and maintenance of this statue, of which 2 million dollars have been spent so far. received
The project to protect the Leshan Buddha statue is of scientific and environmental importance. A series of measures have been announced by Leshan authorities to preserve and maintain this statue, which include: improving the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area, curbing all polluting sources in the area, relocating existing industrial centers in the area within a certain period of time, controlling the pollution of the Minjiang River. and allocating 200 million Yuan (each Chinese Yuan is equivalent to 123 US dollars) this year's capital, to build a highway that will pass through this area.
Currently, the optimization of a large area of mountains, water, roads and surrounding gardens has been completed and the whole area is being improved. After the Leshan Buddha statue was registered in the UNESCO list as a world cultural heritage, this is the first project of its maintenance and restoration.
The Department of Antiquities of the region has hired a number of experts and skilled technical experts who are well versed in the latest audio, optical and electronic technologies. These people constantly check the statue and solve its possible problems.
The first phase of the Buddha's restoration and maintenance project, which focused on solving problems related to its head, shoulders, chest, and abdomen, began last March.
Specialists have done things such as: restoring the hair ring on the statue's head, cleaning the face, removing the excess plants and weeds from its body, cleaning the extra layers of lime and repairing the cracks and crevices of its body with similar old materials.
Currently, the first phase of this project is almost finished. The second phase will start later this year. The emphasis of this section will be on keeping the Buddha's body dry, protecting the feet of the statue from damage caused by water flow, and insulating the entire statue from the air.