Restoring of Confucian Tablets under way in China
The Temple of Confucius in Qufu (Confucius’ hometown in Shandong Province) is the oldest Confucian temple and one of the 800 world heritage sites listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The temple is also home to some 1000 ancient stone tablets coming down from different dynasties as of the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD).
In the tablets is recorded the history of Confucius, of the Confucian Classics and the story of some of the prominent students of Confucius that served as rulers in Imperial China. In these tablets some say is recorded the historic legacy of Confucianism.
Stone tablets recording the 13 Confucian Classics in the Confucian Temple in Central Beijing.
The China news agency Xinhua reported that the inscriptions, written in at least eight different scripts, including minority ones such as Mongolian and Manchu, have experienced diverse weather conditions throughout the centuries and have suffered damage, some to the point of their characters being almost worn away.
The municipality of Qufu has been taking great interest in the tablets and has put in place a detailed plan for their restoration and preservation.
By the end of March 2016, already 100 of a total of the 1,157 tablets have been restored by a team of experts, according to Kong Deping, director of the cultural relics bureau in Qufu. The experience gained in preserving and restoring these first set of tablets will prove useful for the subsequent work of restoration on the remaining tablets, he added.
The restoration work is expected to be completed by the end of 2016