CHENGDU, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Renshou Buddha, China's biggest Buddha statue featuring only the top half of the figure, has been closed for maintenance for the first time since it was built more than 1,300 years ago.
The statue, 15.85 meters tall and 11 meters wide, will be fully enclosed for protection between March and the end of July, said Yang Yu, head of the cultural heritage preservation institute of Meishan City in Sichuan Province, where the statue was located.
Built in 707, the statue has been seriously damaged from years of exposure. Experts will reinforce the statue, carry out biological disease prevention and control as well as environmental protection, Yang said Thursday.
Also called Niujiaozhai Buddha, it is thought to be the prototype of the Leshan Giant Buddha, the world's largest stone Buddha statue with a height of 71 meters, as they are just 60 kilometers away and share the same structure and appearance, Yang said.
The Renshou Buddha, located in the mountains at an altitude of 760 meters, was discovered in 1982. It was listed as a national cultural relic preservation unit in 2006.