NHK news: Lost paintings of Horyuji digitally restored

NHK — Mar 29

Digitally restored Horyuji painting

Digitally restored Horyuji painting

A group of experts has recreated Japan’s oldest Buddhist wall paintings with cutting-edge digital technology. The paintings were lost in a fire 65 years ago.

The group led by Professor Masaaki Miyasako at the graduate school of Tokyo University of the Arts reconstructed 12 murals at Horyuji Temple’s Kondo, or main hall, in Nara Prefecture.

The paintings dated back to the late seventh century, but a fire destroyed most of them in 1949.

The group used photos taken before the fire and the salvaged murals to produce the digital images. They were printed on sheets of paper whose surface is made uneven with fine seashell powder.

One of the paintings measures three meters long and two and a half meters wide.

It shows the Amitabha Buddha and various images in bright red and green.

Professor Miyasako says the group hopes to use the technology to preserve other cultural assets.

The reimaged paintings will be on display at the university from April 26th.

Watch this video on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/yICnEqLFj8g

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