Over 100 photographers from China and overseas gathered at the Mogao Caves in northwest China's Gansu Province on Monday, the first such event ever hosted at the site.
The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand-Buddha Caves, about 25 km southeast of Dunhuang City, are one of the largest and best-preserved sites of Buddhist art in the world.
According to Dunhuang Academy, the authority in charge of the research, protection and management of the site, no one has ever been allowed to take cameras into the caves by themselves, and until now all photos showing the inside of the caves were taken by the academy only.
A photographer works in a cave in the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, Oct. 10, 2016. More than 100 photographers from domestic and abroad are invited to attend a photography activity kicked off on Monday, focusing on Mogao Grottoes, home to a huge collection of Buddhist artworks. (Xinhua/Fan Peishen)
Guests attend the launching ceremony of a photography activity in the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, northwest China's Gansu Province, Oct. 10, 2016. More than 100 photographers from domestic and abroad are invited to attend a photography activity kicked off on Monday, focusing on Mogao Grottoes, home to a huge collection of Buddhist artworks. (Xinhua/Fan Peishen)
The event, lasting from October 10 to 15, is sponsored by the Dunhuang Academy and the provincial literature and art circles federation, and aims to demonstrate the art and historical richness of the caves.
Five caves dating to different historical periods will be opened to the photographers. The copyright of all photos will belong to Dunhuang Academy, and the photos will be reviewed and selected by experts with the results published on the official websites of the academy and by the provincial photographers' association.
Wang Xudong, head of Dunhuang Academy, said: "This activity is part of our effort to showcase and protect Dunhuang culture. Hopefully more people will understand the caves by photographing and joining the army that protects the precious cultural relics of humanity."
The 1,600-year-old Mogao Caves feature a huge collection of Buddhist artworks -- more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes in 735 caves carved along a cliff by ancient worshippers. It was China's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1987.