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The man made Mogao Caves contain over 40,000 colorful
wall art. If laid side by side, they
would extend 30 kilometers (20 miles). The Mogao Caves also contain thousands of painted statues (see photo) and scholarly scrolls.
tips & insights
The Mogao cave art (mainly Buddha related)
first appeared in the 4th
century and continued, with some interruptions, over the next thousand years.
For a long period, many of the Mogao Caves were sealed and forgotten.
And, few people beyond the locals knew of the existence of the accessible caves.
About one hundred years ago Western World museums and
art dealers became
aware of the artistic treasures.
Soon, they and their Chinese agents began exporting many of the
irreplaceable scrolls to the West. Fortunately, nearly all the wall drawings and painted statues were
The wall paintings have retained much of their bright hues because of the dry
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