The Guardian

Thousand years of Tibetan masterpieces revealed for first time

Writer and photographer Thomas Laird’s 10-year project records crumbling Buddhist murals before they are lost
Detail of Maitreya from Murals of Tibet by Thomas Laird. Photograph: Thomas Laird

They are some of the greatest treasures of Tibetan Buddhist culture: ancient murals showing the life of the Buddha and the secrets of meditation. Many are hidden in remote monasteries or temples whose walls are crumbling, but a remarkable project has recorded the paintings before they disappear for ever.

The American photographer and writer spent a decade living among yak herders, farmers and monks while

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