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The Leshan Giant Buddha Statue, 02 The Mysterious Giant Buddha

This is a pair of documentaries made by Chinese Central Television on the history and legends surrounding what was by far the largest stone sculpture in the pre-modern world: the Leshan giant Buddha statue in Sichuan, China.

The sitting Maitreya Buddha statue is over 70 metres high, around 20 metres taller than the Bamiyan Buddha statue destroyed in 2001 in Afghanistan, and around 50 metres taller than the Great Sphinx in Egypt.

The work was begun during the Tang dynasty in 731 by one Buddhist monk, Haitan, whose life is unfortunately not known outside of legend, and was continued by Government agency and took 90 years to complete.

Recently archaeologists have used modern 3D scanning to get a better picture of the massive statue, which has also uncovered some of the secrets of its construction.

The film is presented here in two parts, and near the end covers some of the other statues in the area that seem to have been built inspired by the Leshan Giant.

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