HANGZHOU, March 24 (Xinhua) -- A studio which will digitalize elements of some of China's historical grottoes opened Friday in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province.
Jointly set up by the Yungang Grottoes Research Institute, Datong Institute of Surveying and Mapping and universities in Zhejiang, Wuhan and Beijing, the lab aims to create three-dimensional images of the Yungang Grottoes, a 1,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of more than 51,000 Buddhist sculptures in Datong City, north China's Shanxi Province.
The grottoes face serious threats of erosion despite recent restoration.
Scientists have been working on digitalizing the grottoes since 2005. To date, they have completed archiving some exterior walls and six of the 45 caves. Many sculptures and murals remain hard to digitalize with current technology.
"It is extremely challenging to create the 3D images on such a large scale," said Diao Changyu, an archeologist from Zhejiang University. "The lab will seek innovative solutions to replicating complicated textures and other technical difficulties."