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Ancient Buddhist cave temple reproduced by 3D printing

A perfect copy of the 'West Empress Chamber' of China's Yungang Grottoes has been pro..

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  • A perfect copy of the 'West Empress Chamber' of China's Yungang Grottoes has been produced
  • 20 3D printers worked more than 4,000 hours non-stop to re-create 842 facsimile pieces of the cave
  • Yungang Grottoes, a 1,500-year-old UNESCO site, contain 252 impressive caves and 51,000 statues
  • Chinese team have started replicating two other grottoes of Yungang after copying the largest one

By Tracy You For Mailonline

Published: 12:15 EST, 22 December 2017 | Updated: 12:23 EST, 22 December 2017

It's one of the greatest artworks in the world, and now Chinese archaeologists and artists are using 3D printing to make a perfect copy of the Yungang Buddhist Grottoes.

'West Empress Chamber', the number 3 and the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes in northern China, have been meticulously re-created using specially developed 3D printers and state-of-the-art scanning technology.

Experts have now started re-producing two other grottoes of Yungang, a 1,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage site containing 252 cave temples and 51,000 statues.

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Vivid copy: Chinese experts have re-created the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes, an impressive Buddhist attraction

Vivid copy: Chinese experts have re-created the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes, an impressive Buddhist attraction

Archaeologists and artists used  3D printers to produce every minute detail of the 1,500-year-old caveArchaeologists and artists used  3D printers to produce every minute detail of the 1,500-year-old caveThe cave contains three statues, one big one in the middle and two smaller ones on sideThe cave contains three statues, one big one in the middle and two smaller ones on side

Beautiful and delicate: Archaeologists and artists used 3D printers to produce every minute detail of the 1,500-year-old cave

The original: 'West Empress Chamber', the number 3 and the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes (pictured), have been copiedThe original: 'West Empress Chamber', the number 3 and the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes (pictured), have been copied

The original: 'West Empress Chamber', the number 3 and the largest cave of Yungang Grottoes (pictured), have been copied

World heritage site: Carved out of a mountain, the 1,500-year-old attraction contains 252 cave temples and 51,000 statuesWorld heritage site: Carved out of a mountain, the 1,500-year-old attraction contains 252 cave temples and 51,000 statues

World heritage site: Carved out of a mountain, the 1,500-year-old attraction contains 252 cave temples and 51,000 statues

The original 'West Empress Chamber' was carved between the 5th and 6th century during the Northern Wei Dynasty – when the religion first flourished in China.

The full-size replica is enormous, measuring 17.9 metres (59 feet) in length, 13.6 metres (45 feet) in width and 10 metres (33 feet) in height.

The exquisite cave consists of three Buddhist statues. The one in the middle, the largest of the three, is 10 meters tall while the two standing at either side is six meters (20 feet) tall.

Experts from the Yungang Grottoes Research Institute and Zhejiang University spent two years meticulously reproducing the grotto.

The cave temple measures 17.9 metres (59 feet) in length, 13.6 metres (45 feet) in width and 10 metres (33 feet) in heightThe cave temple measures 17.9 metres (59 feet) in length, 13.6 metres (45 feet) in width and 10 metres (33 feet) in height

The cave temple measures 17.9 metres (59 feet) in length, 13.6 metres (45 feet) in width and 10 metres (33 feet) in height

The Buddha in the middle is the largest of the three and the two standing at either side is six meters (20 feet) tallThe Buddha in the middle is the largest of the three and the two standing at either side is six meters (20 feet) tall

The Buddha in the middle is the largest of the three and the two standing at either side is six meters (20 feet) tall

Experts used specially developed 3D printers and state-of-the-art scanning technology  to build a digital model of the caveExperts used specially developed 3D printers and state-of-the-art scanning technology  to build a digital model of the caveThey took nearly 10,000 pictures of the grotto at different angles and heights to build a digital model of itThey took nearly 10,000 pictures of the grotto at different angles and heights to build a digital model of it

Experts used specially developed 3D printers and state-of-the-art scanning technology to build a digital model of the cave

YUNGANG GROTTOES: AMAZING CAVE ART

Yungang Grottoes were carved out of the Wuzhou Mountain, situated 16 kilometres outside Datong city, China's Shanxi Province.

The impressive attraction was created around 1,500 years ago during the Northern Wei Dynasty.

The dynasty, which lasted from 386 to 534, was significant in terms of its religious influence in China.

It was when Buddhist had its first peak after being introduced to China from India.

There are 252 caves and 51,000 statues in Yungang, which represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art, according to UNESCO World Heritage.

Technicians used cutting-edge 3D laser scanning technology combined with 3D image reconstruction technology to collect the data of the temple, according to China Central Television Station.

They took nearly 10,000 pictures of the grotto at different angles and heights to build a digital model of it.

They also had special 3D printers built which could print products with the maximum length, width and height of 1.2 metres (3.9 feet).

Diao Changyu, the assistant to Dean of the Heritage Research Centre of Zhejiang University, told China Central Television Station: 'The whole model was divided into 842 pieces.

'These 842 pieces were then printed out by 20 3D printers during six months time. The printing process went on day and night without stopping.'

The technicians then put the 842 pieces together before artists painted and sprayed sand over the replicated cave to imitate the texture of the original grotto.

The copy of the West Empress Chamber, almost indistinguishable from the original, is being displayed in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao.

The exhibition is part of the Yungang Grottoes art gallery, which opened to the public on December 16.

Experts are currently re-producing the number 12 and 18 grottoes of Yungang.

The replica was made by 20 3D printers, which worked day and night non-stop for six months to make 842 separate piecesThe replica was made by 20 3D printers, which worked day and night non-stop for six months to make 842 separate pieces

The replica was made by 20 3D printers, which worked day and night non-stop for six months to make 842 separate pieces

Pictured is the detail of the replicated cave which is being displayed in the city of Qingdao part of the Yungang Grottoes art galleryPictured is the detail of the replicated cave which is being displayed in the city of Qingdao part of the Yungang Grottoes art galleryThere are 252 caves and 51,000 statues in Yungang in totalThere are 252 caves and 51,000 statues in Yungang in total

'West Empress Chamber', created in the Northern Wei Dynasty when the religion flourished in China, is exquisite. Above are the details of the copy of the cave which was completed after two years of meticulous work from a Chinese team

The copy of the cave is being displayed in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao as part of the Yungang Grottoes art galleryThe copy of the cave is being displayed in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao as part of the Yungang Grottoes art gallery

The copy of the cave is being displayed in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao as part of the Yungang Grottoes art gallery

One visitor, named Cai Meijiao, told China Daily: 'It's amazing to see the Buddha figures of Yungang. I plan to visit the grottoes next year.'

According to media, this is the first time experts in China have used 3D printers to replicate an entire attraction.

But apparently the Chinese are not alone.

Researchers from Madrid-based Factum Foundation have started a five-year project to reconstruct the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I also using 3D printing technology, according to CNN.

The tomb of the powerful Pharaoh, who ruled from 1290 to 1279 BC, is the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings situated on the west bank of the Niles near Luxor.

So far archaeologists and artists have scanned and printed two chambers.

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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