The World Heritage site of the Mogao Grottoes near Dunhuang is China's preeminent ancient Buddhist site on the Silk Road. It flourished between the fourth and the fourteenth centuries and comprises some 492 cave temples with wall paintings and sculpture. The Getty Conservation Institute has been working with the Dunhuang Academy since 1989 on site conservation and management using guidelines, the Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China, that were developed at the national level. Elements of the successful twenty-year collaboration are discussed in the context of the conservation and management challenges faced at the site and the projects developed to address them, including conservation of the wall paintings in Cave 85, a late Tang dynasty cave with extensive deterioration induced by salts derived from the underlying rock; and visitors to the site, who have increased rapidly since the site was opened in 1979.

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