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Lost Treasures of Tibet

Before and After
by Lexi Krock

 

Lost Treasures of Tibet homepage

When restoration work began in Lo Monthang's Thubchen monastery in 2001, the once-vivid colors of its wall paintings appeared dull and grimy, trapped behind 500 years of smoke, soot, and grease from butter lamps. Portions of the paintings had faded from depradations caused by snowmelt leaking into the building, and in places where the underlying plaster had become detached from the walls, large pieces of these medieval masterpieces hung precariously off the walls.

But the restoration team worked wonders, returning Thubchen's surviving wall paintings to remarkably close approximations of their original magnificence.


Interactive Before and After

View the wall paintings
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Flash is a plug-in that allows for increased interactivity. If you can see the animated boxes at left, the plugin is already installed. If you do not see the boxes, you can install the Flash MX plugin.


Lexi Krock is assistant editor of NOVA online.


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