CAIRO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- People in Egypt now can have an immersive virtual tour of ancient Chinese Grottoes in the capital of Cairo instead of going to China.
A digital restoration international tour exhibition of Taiyuan Tianlongshan Grottoes kicked off on Saturday at the China Cultural Center in Cairo, attracting more than 70 experts and scholars in the field of archaeology and museums from both China and Egypt on the first day.
As one of the most famous grottoes in China, the Tianlongshan Grottoes in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, are notable for the Buddha statues located within.
Construction of the Tianlongshan Grottoes began around the Eastern Wei Dynasty (534-550) and continued until the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The site features 25 caves and over 500 Buddha statues, reflecting the sophisticated carving skills and grotto art of the time.
"The arrival of these exquisite exhibits in Egypt presents a valuable opportunity for Egyptians to have a deep understanding of Chinese culture, and also have a glimpse of the geography, history, and culture of the Tianlongshan Grottoes," Maissara A. Hussein, deputy director of the Antiquities National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, said at the exhibition.
"China's advanced technology of restoring and protecting historical sites is worth promoting to the world," Hussein said.
Wei Tao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Shanxi Provincial Committee and Secretary of the CPC Taiyuan Municipal Committee, said that the international tour used many edgy technologies, such as holographic phantom imaging and augmented reality to digitally reimage many Tianlongshan statues scattered in many countries and offer a comprehensive display of the splendid art of the Tianlongshan grottoes.
"I hope that through this exhibition, more Egyptian people know more about the Tianlongshan Grottoes and Taiyuan," he said.
Zhang Chaoyang, minister of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, noted that in recent years, China-Egypt relations have achieved leapfrog development and fruitful results in the cultural field.
"The exhibition will show the beauty of the integration of Chinese and foreign arts to the Egyptian people in a more realistic and tangible way, and will enhance the mutual understanding and traditional friendship between the two peoples," he said.
At the exhibition, many visitors were amazed by the AR restoration of the Tianlongshan Buddha statues, including Ahmed Zarip, director of the Chinese Department of Minia University in Egypt, is one of them.
"This experience is amazing, and I hope to see more such Chinese archaeological and cultural exhibitions in Egypt," he told Xinhua.
The China-Egypt Forum on Exchange and Cooperation in the Protection and Utilization of Cultural Heritage was inaugurated on the same day.