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Jokhang Temple goes digital with Palace Museum
update:August 03,2016
Aug.3, 2016 -- The Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, has teamed up with the Palace Museum in Beijing. And for the past three years, they've built one of country's most advanced 3-D high-definition image database of cultural relics. 
You don't have to travel afar to see the many cultural relics in Jokhang Temple.
For the past three years, researchers from the monastery and the Palace Museum in Beijing have been taking pictures of glittering Buddha niches in this temple, one of the holiest places for Tibetans.
Every evening until midnight, is the only time they get to work on building one of country's most advanced 3-D high-definition image database of cultural relics.
"The photographs of each statue are taken from 10 different angles. If epigraphs are discovered, more pictures are taken. Sections of the photographed frescoes can be magnified to more than a person's height in the database," said researcher of Palace Museum Luo Wenhua. 
About 85 percent of over 5,000 statues in the temple have been covered so far, and the oldest can be dated back to the Tubo era (7th to 9th century), the predecessor of today's Tibet.
In total 1,439 pieces of thangka paintings have been found.
"It's uncommon for a monastery to have a specific cultural relics warehouse like Jokhang. The inventory needs to be done in a better way because the details in the previous one were often vague. Now that we are recording details we can fill some of the gaps in the records in Jokhang," said Luo.
The digitization of the frescoes is expected to be completed by 2017, and the project will then be expanded to cover the ancient architecture.
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