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Giant Buddha of Leshan to undergo "physical examination"
CHENGDU, Oct. 1 -- The giant Buddha in southwest China's Sichuan Province will undergo a four-month examination as part of research for its repair plan.
The statue, at 71 meters high and believed to be the world's largest Buddha, sits outside the city of Leshan. It has cracks and damage on its chest and abdomen, according to the management committee of the Leishan Buddha scenic area.
During the examination, which will start Oct. 8, the main body of the Buddha statue will be partially or completely covered.
The examination will be overseen by dozens of cultural relic experts, involving the use of cutting-edge technology such as 3D laser scanning, infrared thermal imaging and a drone aerial survey.
The Buddha statue, carved into a cliff in Leshan Mountain and overlooking three converging rivers, was built over a 90-year period starting the year 713, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-listed world cultural heritage statue has undergone several repairs and checks. In 2001, a project was conducted to clean the body, cement rock structure, and mend cracks and install drainage pipes, at a spending of 250 million yuan (about 36.87 million U.S. dollars).
In 2007, the Buddha received another facelift to repair damage caused by weathering and acid rain.