The legacy of Run Run Shaw extends even beyond film and education. He was also an advocate for the Mogao Grottoes in Northwest China, caves that contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world. For three decades, Shaw made great contributions to the protection of these artifacts.
Located along the ancient silk road, the Mogao Grottoes are among China's most prized architectural treasures.
Yet during the 1980s, funding for their preservation was virtually nonexistent. That's when Run Run Shaw came along.
"The Mogao Grottoes rank among the Great Wall and the Forbidden City when it comes to cultural relics. But back then we lacked funds to even fix a single door. Then we got news that an unknown donor wanted to give us 10 million Hong Kong Dollars," Fan Jinshi, Director of Dunhuang Academy China, says.
The money was used to install aluminium doors and protective glass for the murals. The protective installations for 455 caves are still used today.
Sir Run Run Shaw visited the Grottoes in 1990. Following that he organized a series of fundraisers around the world, and contributed to the prevention and control of desertification in the Mogao area.
"He was truly a noble man, he loved his country and contributed to society. We would never have come this far if it wasn’t for his support. We will always remember him," Fan says.
Shaw's efforts were never just-one off donations. He stayed committed to the cause for 30 years, and his efforts were officially recognized by the Ministry of Culture in 2002.