Art: Lost Treasures

The most ancient wooden building in the world, the 1,300-year-old Golden Hall of Japan's Horyuji Monastery, is unheated and wretchedly uncomfortable in cold weather. So when government painters worked through the winter to copy the shrine's twelve famous murals of the Buddhas and their disciples, the foresighted brought along a few electric heating pads to sit on. One evening a fortnight ago, one of the artists forgot to flip the switch before he left. Next morning, a party of schoolchildren on their way to visit the shrine saw clouds of smoke billowing from...

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