Dunhuang Preservation Project


The Story of Dunhuang

Mogao Caves' Buddhist Art

Dunhuang was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road. Here is the world’s largest and richest surviving site of Buddhist art. The significance of Dunhuang lies in its grottoes, mural caves. These grottoes are museums of ancient arts and the intersection of Western and Oriental civilizations.

Since the mid-16th century, no one carried out the conservation work at the caves in the following 400 years and the caves were in extremely poor conditions.

Natural factor has led to the deterioration of Dunhuang grottoes and the precious historical relics found inside them. For example, moulds were found on other paintings, and some painted layers had been detached from the conglomerate wall of the caves. Furthermore, the footpaths and some caves collapsed or were buried by sand and sand deposited in front of some caves and eroded the surfaces of some paintings. 

Why Dunhuang grottoes conservation matters?

“Constant entrance and exit changes the temperature and humidity inside the caves. Human bodies also carry microorganisms, and if they start to grow inside the caves, it would be very scary,” said Wang Xudong, president of Dunhuang Academy.

China’s ancient Buddhist grottoes face a new threat — tourists | The Washington Post

Dunhuang Grottoes, the Mogao Caves mural

The mural in Dunhuang grottoes

Protecting Dunhuang grottoes is a long-term hard work. It is not only the responsibility of government, but also people. Dunhuang grottoes may disappear anytime. Together, we can save this 1700-year-old cultural heritage of humanity. They do not only belong to East Asia but also the world. They do not only belong to us but also the future generation.


Let us protect Dunhuang together

How we conserve Dunhuang grottoes

Mytheast Dunhuang Preservation Project

The Progress of Dunhuang Preservation Project


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Help saving Dunhuang grottoes and
Let the world know about the beauty of Buddha

Don't let the beauty of Buddha phase out
Let's pass on it to the next generation 

Mogao Caves' Buddhist Art

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Wanna learn more about Dunhuang or Silk Roads culture and history?

  • Mogao Caves images: Digital Dunhuang
  • Information about Dunhuang: Dunhuang | SILK ROADS
  • Information about Dunhuang: Dunhuang | China | Britannica.com
  • Dunhuang database: International Dunhuang Project