New Delhi, July 6 (ANI): Two archaeological restoration experts are soon going to go to the US to repair two stone horse sculpture reliefs from China dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 AD – 907 AD).
The Daming Palace Foundation in Shaanxi’s provincial capital has recruited five volunteers from the Shaanxi provincial history museum, Xi’an cultural relic protection and restoration center and Xi’an archaeological institute.
They are excellent experts in the repair of stone, pottery, tri-colored relics, ancient constructions, tablets, calligraphy works, paintings and metal.
“After training, two of the five experts will go to the United States to repair two stone horse sculpture reliefs dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618 AD – 907 AD),” said Guan Zhaoyi, deputy secretary-general of the foundation.
“It is in response to a request from the University of Pennsylvania, where they are on display,” Guan added.
Six horse reliefs once lined the corridor of the Tang emperor Li Shimin’s mausoleum.
Li owed much of his military success to six horses he rode into combat, so he ordered reliefs of the animals to be carved and placed in his tomb to accompany him in the afterlife.
The images, which feature the horses in different poses, are true-to-life specimens of Tang-era sculpture.
Smugglers stole the reliefs in 1918, but were stopped by locals in Tongguan, Shaanxi.
However, the thieves still managed to get two of the artworks to the US, while the other four ended up in Xi’an’s Forest of Steles Museum.
As the two reliefs were broken into several pieces during transport, the University of Pennsylvania Museum had asked the foundation to send two experts to work with their American counterparts to restore them.
“We hope the two horse reliefs will be perfectly repaired and can be exhibited overseas in the future,” Guan said. (ANI)