China's space technology to help preserve ancient Shaolin Temple books

Updated 2018-04-25 10:20:02

The world famous Shaolin Temple in Central China's Henan Province is getting help from state-of-the-art space technology to protect its ancient books.

The ancient book protection system, developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), caught the attention of Shi Yongxin, abbot of Shaolin Temple, who recently visited CALT.

The system includes a protective box, a digital distribution system, a monitoring platform, box frames and others made of special space materials produced by space technology, which makes it resistant to water, fire and insects.

Shan Yijiao, one of the system's designers, told the Global Times that the special box can keep internal temperatures below 60 C within an hour, even if it catches fire, and the special design prevents it from sinking when dropped in water.

All the internal materials have to be cleaned in an effort to prevent the books from erosion caused by organic-matter degradation.

Most ancient books stored in Shaolin Temple are made of bamboo paper, so they have been damaged by worms and other natural elements, China Religion, a magazine affiliated with the State Administration for Religious Affairs, reported in 2013.

Shaolin Temple can only put these books in ordinary boxes, the magazine said.

It added that exposure to open air and a large number of tourists also affects the ancient books.

One of the best places to appreciate the genuine Chinese martial arts tradition is Shaolin Temple.

Established in the 5th century, it is a Mahayana Buddhist temple and the birthplace of Chinese Kung Fu.

During devastating wars in the past dynasties, many of the temple's buildings were destroyed, but some were reconstructed several times.

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