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Dunhuang: Secrets of the Gobi Caves

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 Racing against time, and in the cosmopolitan spirit of the ancient Silk Road, scientists from three continents search for solutions to save the artistic treasures of Dunhuang. 

Situated at a major crossroads of the ancient Silk Road, Dunhuang is one of the world's most important cultural sites. It is also under extreme threat. Our film looks at the cutting-edge science and technology used by chemists, crystallographers, graphologists and computer wizards as they work to protect, preserve and conserve the irreplaceable art treasures of this World Heritage Site. 

The Gobi Caves, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, are a vast series of ancient temples and shrines. These 492 caves were hewn from bare rock and filled with precious works of ancient art. Among them: 45,000 square metres of frescoes (if strung out in a single line, these murals would equate to a painted wall of 5 metres high and 10 kilometres long), over 2000 statues (including a towering 90-foot tall Buddha) and over 50,000 manuscripts, many of which are encoded in long-lost languages. These scientists face one gargantuan task… And time is running out!