Great Buddha of Kamakura getting major 'health checkup'
Asahi -- Jan 13
The Great Buddha of Kamakura is undergoing its first major "health checkup" in more than half a century.

Trucks carrying the necessary equipment arrived at Kotokuin temple early Jan. 13 to begin the two-month-long procedure on the massive bronze statue.

The 200 yen ($1.70) admission fee to the temple will be waived until March 10 while the 13.3-meter-tall statue is being examined and treated. During this period, it will be surrounded by scaffolding and covered in a translucent sheet. That means visitors will not be able to step inside the 121-ton statue.

The last time the statue believed to have been erected in the 13th century underwent such a major checkup was in 1959, and it took two and a half years to complete.

Officials said 65 million yen has been set aside for the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo to carry out the work.

As the colossal Buddha is a designated national treasure, the organization plans to be extra careful every step of the way. Technicians will use X-rays to determine the state of the statue and an ultrasonic scalpel to remove rust. Pigeon droppings and other stains will be removed by blasting them with water.

観光名所として知られる神奈川県鎌倉市の大仏が、清掃作業のため、13日から2か月間­にわたって拝観できなくなるのを前に、11日、作業の無事を祈願する法要が行われ&q­uot; 国宝に指定されている鎌倉の大仏は、1252年に鋳造された青銅製の仏像で、風雨にさ­らされて汚れやさびが目立つため、13日から2か月間、傷み具合を調べる調査や清掃作­業が行われ、この間の拝観ができなくなります。 これを前に、大仏がある寺の高徳院では11日、大勢の参拝者が見守るなか、法要が行わ­れ、関係者が作業の無事を祈願しました。
News source: Asahi
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