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Hong Kong, China, July 10, 2017 / - Seagate Technology Launches Dunhuang Grottoes Digitalization Protection Program, with Dunhuang Research Institute and China Dunhuang Grottoes Conservation Research Foundation, Exploring New Model of Data Application

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the “Dunhuang Grottoes Digitalization Protection Program” a comprehensive digital preservation initiative for protecting and promoting the Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, a world cultural heritage site, located in Gansu province in Western China. The program is being run in partnership with the Dunhuang Research Institute and the China Dunhuang Grottoes Conservation Research Foundation.

Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes, comprises a system of 492 temples and caves containing some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in China, including 735 surviving caves, 45,000 square meters of murals and 2,415 colored clay sculptures. The first caves were dug out in 366 AD as places of Buddhist meditation and worship, and formed one of the three famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites in China. The caves are located 25 kilometers southeast of the center of Dunhuang, strategically located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the ancient Silk Road trade route.

However, with the passing of time, many of the historical and cultural relics within the grottoes have become damaged, and some elements lost. Additionally, being made of clay, wood, straw and other fragile materials, the colored clay sculptures and murals have gradually deteriorated. In recent years, mass tourism has also had an impact.

“The increase in tourist numbers to the Mogao Grottoes has also resulted in a certain degree of harm,” said Mr. Wang Xudong, Director of Dunhuang Research Institute. “Carbon dioxide exhaled from the visitors builds up in the caves, resulting in an increase in temperature and humidity, which further degrades the murals and colored clay sculptures.”

To help preserve the grottoes, a new approach was sought, utilizing the latest technology which could also be used for educational purposes and for reaching a broader audience.

The “Dunhuang Grottoes Digitalization Protection Program”, jointly initiated by Seagate Technology, Dunhuang Research Institute and the China Dunhuang Grottoes Protection Research Foundation, is a successful example of data application in a cultural context. The program aims to digitally map the cave system and murals, and make them available online in 3D.

The data collected from Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes can be utilized in tourism and mass education as well as important data for research. Data used in cultural heritage protection is an inevitable development in this era of data.

According to IDC, the volume of data globally will reach 163ZB in 2025, a ten-fold increase over what was created in 2016. It is not surprising that data will be applied in more and more areas and industries in the age of big data, and more new models of data application emerging.

“Dunhuang Grottoes Digitalization Protection Program”, jointly initiated by Seagate Technology, Dunhuang Research Institute and China Dunhuang Grottoes Protection Research Foundation, is a successful exploration in data application in a wide range of areas.

The program aims to protect the grottoes and murals so that they can be preserved permanently intact. It fully demonstrates the role of technology in the protection of cultural heritage. The charm and fascination of the ancient Dunhuang can be vividly reproduced with the digital technology. The digital work represents new potentialities and means for protecting, researching and promoting Dunhuang Grottoes. The digital demonstration of Dunhuang Grottoes can take tourists into an immersive 3D virtual environment to enjoy the sculptures and murals and feel the mysterious culture of Dunhuang, alleviating the pressure in the caves brought by tourists. Seagate is applying its advanced storage solutions into digital protection including prophase collection, image processing, virtual roaming and database storage, restoring and reserving Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes for later generations.

“‘Dunhuang Grottoes Digitalization Protection Program’ is another innovative community project by Seagate,” said Ms. Sandy Sun, Vice President and General Manager for Asia-Pacific and China Sales, Seagate. “We are very pleased to work with Dunhuang Research Institute and China Dunhuang Grottoes Protection Research Foundation to bring the advantage of protecting cultural heritage with technology into full play and protect Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes. The power and value of data is infinite. With the digital protection and storage of precious data, we hope that not only our generation can enjoy the splendid Dunhuang culture, but it can be handed down to later generations. This is what we can and should do as a sci-tech organization, and also responsibilities we should undertake.”

Mr Wang from Dunhuang Research Institute also said, “Dunhuang Grottoes, situated on the ancient Silk Road and as the non-renewable precious cultural heritage, is in urgent need of protection; while the development of digital technology opens another door to protect Dunhuang Grottoes, which enables the murals and sculpture to be preserved longer and spread wider. Digital technology resolves the conflict between opening to the tourists and preservation of Grottoes, and at the same time, it also spreads the splendid civilization and precious history carried by Dunhuang Grottoes to all over the world.”

Yang Xiuqing, Secretary General of China Dunhuang Grottoes Protection Research Foundation said, “we welcome Seagate, a high-tech organization with social responsibilities to work with us to contribute in the protection of Mogao Grottoes, so as to retain the exquisite color sculptures and murals, explore the profound history reflected by the caves, and let the spirit of the Silk Road live forever.”


This press release has been syndicated from Xinwengao, who is responsible for the content distributed via its newswire.