China will open a museum displaying rare Buddhist statues some of them as old as 1,500 years in its Hebei Province next month.
The museum in Linzhang County will exhibit more than 200 statues and statue fragments in three showrooms, said Liu Haitao, a museum executive.
The exhibits are among nearly 3,000 whole statues and fragments unearthed in early 2012 at the site of Yecheng, a 2,500-year-old city located in what is now Linzhang, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Made of white marble and blue stone, most of the relics date back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi (534-577) of the Northern Dynasties (386-581).
The discovery was deemed rare in terms of both the number and quality of the items.
Yecheng was built in the Spring and Autumn period (770 BC -476 BC) and served as the political center of China during the Three Kingdoms period (220-280) and the Northern dynasties.
Buddhism which spread from India was very popular during the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties, when Yecheng served as the capital. It was especially prevalent in the Northern Qi, as the imperial family revered Buddhas.
During Northern Qi, there were about 30,000 temples and two million monks and nuns, Xinhua reported.