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Himalayan temple restorer scales new heights

Updated: 2023-06-08 06:30 ( China Daily )
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A dagoba Xia encountered during an architectural study tour in Nepal. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Many of the paintings of Buddhist figures were blurry and traces of fire from when the building was burned could be seen on some carved wooden decorations.

In 2015, the local government decided to bring in a group of architects, artists and scholars to restore the ancient building.

Xia says he got off to a rough beginning, since there was no precedent to refer to.

"I probably looked at around 30,000 old photos," Xia says about his efforts to piece together the original details of the temple's past.

"Only by clarifying everything, from the underlying logical relationships to historical heritage and spatial logic, can we have top-level design," he explains.

After the basics of the temple were restored, Xia's team conducted extensive investigations before adding some new functions to make it an art space, without altering the original structure or the spatial flow.

The goal was to bring it back to life, Xia says.

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