Digital technology is used in the Mogao Grottoes in northwest China to protect the world cultural heritage site from the negative impacts of tourism. [photo / lanzhou.com]
On May 1, a high-tech tourist center, consisting of a digital museum and theater with a special spherical screen, opened to the public in the Mogao Grottoes in northwest China.
The center will enhance tourist's digital experience and protect the world cultural heritage site from the negative impacts of tourism, such as the carbon dioxide and moisture visitors bring into the caves.
The Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, are a system of 492 rock-cut cells and sanctuaries near Dunhuang, a desert landscape of Gansu Province. The complex once held over 1,000 caves with rock art, and about 40 of them date back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (385-557). It became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.
Dunhuang Academy is responsible for the conservation, management and research of the grottoes. They use high-tech measures to monitor the temperature, humidity and amount of carbon dioxide in the caves.
Wi-Fi has become accessible anywhere in Mogao Grottoes. By scanning the 2D barcode outside each cave, tourists can get a detailed introduction to the cave in both Chinese and English.
"The protection measures are aimed at keeping the cultural heritage site intact, protecting precious cultural relics from decaying, and making Chinese Buddhist culture known to more people in the world," said Dr. Wang Wanfu of the Dunhuang Academy.
According to Dunhuang Academy, over five million people have visited the Mogao Grottoes in the past 10 years. The protection of the grottoes is increasingly important due to the increasing number of visitors.