Ancient stone sculptures on display in Hebei

Xinhuanet, Feb 3, 2006

SHIJIAZHUANG, China -- An exhibition featuring ancient stone sculptures opened recently in Handan, a historically famous city in North China's Hebei Province, to mark the ongoing Spring Festival.

It comprises a total of 70 stone Buddhist sculptures, rubbings and tablets carved in a 900-year period from the Northern Dynasties (386-581) to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Some 86 photographs of Buddhist sculptures, unearthed from grottos and tombs in Handan and its surrounding areas, are also on display in the 600-square meter exhibition hall at the city's museum.

After the holiday display period, the cultural relics will be on permanent show at the museum to provide local residents with a chance to appreciate the art of stone carving in ancient times.

Handan has a history of 8,000 years in stone carving. The technique of ancient artists in the region exerted a strong influence on the creation of Buddhist sculpture during the Northern Dynasties.