The Leshan Giant Buddha in the province of Sichuan — the largest Buddha statue in the world — was partly submerged by ongoing floods in Southern China last week, reports Smithsonian Magazine. A pilgrimage destination for Buddhists and part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 233-feet-tall, 1,300-year-old monument had not been endangered by rising waters for at least seven decades.
The Leshan Buddha was carved in the 8th century CE on the hillside of Xijuo Peak, overlooking the junction of the Minjiang, Qingyi and Dadu Rivers. It depicts Maitreya, a bodhisattva (an individual on the path to becoming a buddha) and disciple of Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
This year has brought unusually heavy flooding in central and southwestern China, killing hundreds and displacing millions more. The Mount Emei site was closed to tourists last week and officials surrounded the statue with sandbags in an attempt to protect it, but water managed to rise high enough to cover the Buddha’s enormous toes. (If it were to stand upright, the Buddha would be almost eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty, and 100 monks are said to be able to sit on one foot at once.)
Although the Chinese government has spent millions in its preservation and restoration, the statue is at risk of erosion by rainwater and air pollution, especially as the climate emergency worsens. In December 2018, one large-scale study found that 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are threatened by rising sea levels.
According to the media outlet Xinhua, the authorities in Sichuan, where the Leshan’s Buddha is located, activated the highest level of emergency flood control response on Tuesday for the first time on record. Incessant rainfall has caused 22 major rivers in Sichuan to exceed their flood warning levels, and water reached the toes of the Buddha for the first time since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the outlet reported.
From music and architecture to comedy and horror, these films showcase Ukrainian culture and its long-held ethos of resistance.
A new exhibition focuses on Hesse’s works on paper, and the way they demonstrate the role of drawing in the famed sculptor’s process.
Part of the university’s Artists on the Future series featuring renowned artists and cultural thought leaders, this online event is free and open to the public.
The artists showcased in Archival Intimacies examine the colonial trauma’s impact on Asian Americans and search for ways to overcome it.
Eiffel inadvertently paints its protagonist not as a great man worthy of scrutiny or praise, but as the Elon Musk of his day.
This illustrated guide offers readers a broad and accessible introduction to the evolution of Armenian modern and contemporary art.
The fire-resistant copy will be auctioned to raise funds for PEN America.
Funded projects include an exhibition of contemporary and historical retablos and a residency that pairs glass artists with creators in other mediums.
This rigorous, studio-based program in Philadelphia focuses on building unique studio practices that synthesize the disciplines of printmaking, book arts, and papermaking.
Bonhams paused the sale of the rare garment, which was expected to fetch $1.2 million.
Now playing the Cannes Film Festival, the new film from the director of The Square embarks on a luxury cruise that goes to hell.
By enshrining her memories into sculptural form, Juárez celebrates her emotional pilgrimage through the growing pains of childhood to adulthood.