July 15, 2015

"The show, running May 7 to Sept. 4, 2016, will have no lack of authentic -- and more transportable -- masterpieces."

LA Times The Getty Trust fleshed out details of its 2016 exhibition “Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road,” which will include complete, exact, walk-in replicas of three decorated caves that artists adorned with Buddhist-themed murals over 1,000 years starting in the 4th century. By Mike Boehm

'The caves are among 492 known as the Mogao Grottoes, dug into a mile-long cliff face about 1,200 miles west of Beijing. If all the paintings inside them were stretched out into a 10-foot-high mural, it would be more than nine miles long.

'The actual Mogao caves draw about 1 million visitors a year, most of them from China. The fully-enclosed replicas, to be set up on the plaza at the Getty Center in Brentwood, will give a taste of the real thing to L.A. residents and visitors who can’t make that pilgrimage.

'Neville Agnew, who has headed the Getty’s long-running effort to help Chinese authorities preserve and manage the caves, said that the replicas are exact in all dimensions, painted with the same pigments and using the same clay from a nearby riverbed that the ancient artists used in the caves.

'“People will get essentially the same experience they would have at the caves themselves,” he said -- including craning their necks to see painted panels at the apex of the roofs, which are up to about 16 feet high. The re-creations will include replicas of clay sculptures, arrayed as they are seen in the actual caves.'

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