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It’s A Qing Dynasty Fresco Not A Coloring Book! Another Botched Restoration

Not everything should get a fresh coat of paint (ancient frescoes included).

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Today in WTF?, an array of Qing Dynasty frescoes got a fresh coat of paint at the Yunjie Temple in Chaoyang, Liaoning. This is probably the most accurate way this reporter can describe what happened, as saying that they were “restored” would mean that they didn’t end up looking like a grade school coloring project.

For 4 million yuan ($660,000) the temple’s abbot hired a local firm to give his domain a new look. Lacking that much money he set out to raise the funds himself, and this is what he got:

After the new paint job Original fresco

The project was not authorized by the provincial government and the firm hired to do the paint job was OBVIOUSLY not up to the job. But hey, at least they don’t look all old and grotty and ancient and stuff anymore.

The moral of the story: antique frescoes are not coloring books. Even in a country where entire ancient communities are routinely razed to the ground to make room for yet more high-rise apartment blocks and shopping malls, antique frescoes are still not coloring books.

To drive this fact home two officials in charge of monitoring fiascoes such as this have been given the boot.

[Via: Global Times]


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Filed under: Archaeology, Art and Music, China, Disappearing Traditions, Religion, Travel Guide

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3715 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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