• Kyodo

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A Cultural Affairs Agency panel endorsed on Monday removing deteriorating wall paintings inside the ancient Kitora tomb in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, for preservation.

The removal of parts in danger of coming off — a restoration method yet to be tested in an ancient tomb in Japan — was approved at a meeting in Tokyo of the Research Committee of the Cultural Affairs Agency, officials said.

The murals — the Seiryu (blue dragon) and Byakko (white tiger) — and parts of some other paintings are coming off, according to a report made at the meeting.

A working group of the research committee proposed the removal July 6, after confirming the paintings had deteriorated substantially.

The tomb dates from the late seventh to the early eighth century. Its mound is about 14 meters wide and 2.6 meters high.

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