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The Independent Culture
Digitising Dunhuang

(11am R4)

The Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang in north-west China, carved out and painted over the course of a millennium by Buddhists, are among the most important sites of cultural, artistic and scholarly endeavour in the world. Early on in the last century thousands of scrolls, pictures and sculptures were taken from these desert caves and ended up in museums as far afield as Paris, New York and Toronto. Here the journalist and author Isabel Hilton (above) tells the story of international co-operation that has led to these ancient treasures being reunited, albeit in cyberspace. Soon we will be able to visit the caves, using the internet, and see them as they were before their treasures were dispersed around the world.