NARA – Portions of 1,200-year-old color floral paintings have been found unweathered on wooden doors at the renowned Toshodaiji Temple in Nara, the prefectural board of education said Thursday.
The painted areas had been protected under metal parts attached to the doors for re-enforcement, whereas the rest was lost due to time and exposure, board officials said.
The metal parts were removed last November for maintenance on 10 doors of the temple’s main hall, which is a national treasure.
Officials found intact floral paintings under the metal parts on three of the doors.
All three parts depict imaginary flowers in red, green, orange and black. All of the doors were believed originally covered by flowers, they said.
The temple was founded in 759 by the Chinese monk Jianchen, known as Ganjin in Japan. Its main hall is believed to have been completed in the late eighth century.
The metal parts were replaced during maintenance in the late 17th century but were put on original door parts.
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