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Thousands of ancient Buddhist relics were recovered by authorities in China's Xinjiang region. Among them were mural paintings from Gandhara, an ancient kingdom where Buddhism flourished.
Police in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have recovered over 3,600 historical relics from China's western region.
[Wu Xinhua, Chinese Academy of Sciences]:
"All the recovered Gandhara-style mural paintings were found in this area, southeast of Damagou. This is the earliest Buddhist monument site in Hetian, with all kinds of mural paintings and Buddhist temples in it. These Gandhara-style mural paintings were found for the first time in China and all over the world."
Over the past few years, grave robbers swarmed into Damagou where archeologists discovered the largest site of Buddhist temples in the Taklamakan Desert.
According to local police, robbers stole the valuable relics and destroyed the site.
Gandhara, the name of an ancient kingdom where Buddhism was quite prevalent, combined the essence of Hellenism and Greco-Roman culture.
Yungang Grottoes, one of the four most famous grottoes in Shanxi Province, is one typical styles of work from Gandhara.