Ageless: Dunhuang heritage protected across generations

Ageless: Dunhuang heritage protected across generations


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Dunhuang in northwest China was the meeting point of four civilizations along the ancient Silk Road. The Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang incorporates 735 caves and more than 45,000 square meters of murals. Their preservation could not have been done without the dedication and protection of countless guardians across generations.

Technician Fan Zaixuan has been restoring murals in the Mogao Grottoes for more than 40 years. Since he arrived in Dunhuang on the night of March 31, 1981, he has learned skills passed down from older generations of Mogao Grottoes preservers, such as Li Yunhe, who is over 90 years old.

Now, Fan teaches his students. Dai Chuan, who was born in the 1990s, has already spent over a decade protecting the Dunhuang Academy murals. Fan hopes that young people such as Dai can carry the responsibility of protecting the Mogao Grottoes for the next thousand years.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “All things in the world have their laws for survival and development, but they know how to preserve their roots.” China cherishes the historical and cultural heritage left by its ancestors. And because of this sense of history, the Chinese civilization has grown and flourished.

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