World's Biggest Buddha Statue in China Reopens to Tourists After 6-month Examination
Beijing: A giant 71-meter Buddha statue, believed to be the world's largest, has been reopened to tourists in the southwest China's Sichuan province after undergoing a six-month examination as part of its repair plan.
Carved into a cliff in Leshan Mountain and overlooking three converging rivers, the statue was built over a 90-year period starting in the year 713 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Buddhism, which emanated from India remained a dominant religion in China.
The statue, which sits outside the city of Leshan, had developed cracks and some damage on its chest and abdomen, according to the management committee of the Leshan Buddha scenic area.
It was reopened to tourists on Friday after a six-month examination which started in October and ended in March. During the examination, the main body of the statue was completely or partially covered.
The examination involved the use of cutting-edge technology such as a drone aerial survey, 3D laser scanning and high-density resistivity methods, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-listed world cultural heritage statue has undergone several repairs and checks, the report said.
In 2001, a project was conducted to clean the body, cement rock structures, mend cracks and install drainage pipes, which cost 250 million yuan (USD 37.1 million).
In 2007, the statue received another facelift to repair damage caused by weathering and acid rain.