Cave of the Ring-bearing Doves: A place of holy Buddhas | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 17.06.2019
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Culture

Cave of the Ring-bearing Doves: A place of holy Buddhas

These splendid murals were painted on wood in the fifth or sixth century. Found by German researchers in a cave in the mountains of China's Turfan region, they are now a part of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin.

Watch video 03:21

In 1902, German researchers Albert Grünwedel, Theodor Bartus and Albert von Le Coq travelled more than 6,000 kilometers from Berlin to explore the magnificent murals painted inside the caves of the Turfan region, in present-day China. 

Before the outbreak of World War I, they decided to send wall paintings and sculptures from this "Cave of the Ring-bearing Doves" to Germany, justifying the move as a "rescue operation," as an article from the Berlin State Museums' archives described it. 

The materials they brought back with them from the fifth and sixth centuries contained many secrets. In 2017, a team from the Asian Art Museum in Berlin set out again on the northern Silk Road to explore them further.  In the meantime, the parts of the "Cave of the Ring-bearing Doves" from Kizil that had made it to Berlin have been lavishly restored and can be viewed in the new Humboldt Forum as a walk-in cave. 

Click here to see more videos from "Berlin's Treasure Trove – The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation."

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