World's largest stone Buddha welcomes back visitors after six-month restoration


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The gigantic 71-metre (233 ft) Leshan Stone Buddha statue, the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world, was open to welcome visitors again on Monday after being closed for a six-month restoration.
"It feels very spectacular and shocking" said one of the first tourists to pay a visit, adding: "My impression is that it's safer. The guardrails on the ramps have been raised. The guardrails on them are safe and the Buddha looks better."
Dozens of experts were involved in a physical examination and major repairs since last October, which focused on the cracks on the sculpture's chest and abdomen. The renovation included the use of technologies such as 3D laser scanning, an infrared thermal imaging and a drone aerial survey.
The giant sculpture, which is carved out of a mountain side and dates back to 713 AD, was included in UNESCO's Cultural and Natural Heritage lists in 1996.
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