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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

June 7, 2001 -- No. 287

Buddhist monks to dismantle, transport sacred mandala

Dismantling: 5:30 p.m. Friday, (June 8)
Ackland Art Museum, UNC
S. Columbia St. south of Franklin, Chapel Hill

Procession led by monks:
Leave Ackland, front door, approximately 6 p.m
Walk north on Airport Road, east side, to Bolin Creek at Hillsborough Street

Ceremony to disperse sand from mandala:
Approximately 6:30 p.m., Bolin Creek, Airport Road near Hillsborough Street

Background: Two monks, who created a colorful sand mandala, a religious art work and practice, Feb. 28-March 21 at the Ackland, will dismantle it section by section, place the sand into a vessel and lead a public procession to Bolin Creek. There they will cast the sand into the water, via which its spirit is expected to disperse and live on.


Except for camera sounds, quiet is requested during the dismantling, sand dispersal and to the extent possible during the walk to the creek, as this event is a Buddhist religious ceremony. Reporters may interview the monks, Ackland curator Barbara Matilsky and observers after the ceremony.

Visuals: Two Buddhist monks, the Venerable Tenzin Thutop (TEN-zin TOO-top) and the Venerable Tenzin Deshek (TEN-zin DESH-eck), will wear crimson and gold robes while dismantling the Medicine Buddha sand mandala, carefully and in order according to spiritual practice. The three-dimensional. 5.5 square-foot mandala includes brilliant purples, yellows, reds and greens.

Media photographers needing art of the mandala intact are welcome to photograph it during museum hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today (June 7) and Friday.

Flashes and TV lights will be allowed throughout the ceremony Friday. At the Ackland, photographers will be asked to stand in a designated area to avoid blocking the public's view. Reporters may roam the gallery, which is expected to be crowded with 125 people.


At the Ackland, a limited number of spaces will be reserved for the media all day Friday in the Swain lot off Cameron Avenue. Media representatives should drive to the northwest corner of the lot, near Columbia Street. Walk west to Columbia Street, then north toward Franklin Street. The Ackland will be on your right. At Bolin Creek, media and public parking will be in the lot of the UNC human resources building at 751 Airport Road, approximately across from the intersection with Hillsborough Street.


To the Swain lot: From the east, take N.C. 54 to campus and turn right onto Country Club Road at the stone university sign. The road crosses Raleigh Street and becomes Cameron Avenue. After passing the Old Well on the right, take the next right into the Swain lot.

From the Swain lot to the 751 Airport Road lot: Turn right onto Cameron and right onto S. Columbia Street. Cross Franklin and Rosemary streets. The road name changes to Airport Road. From Rosemary Street go .8 miles south, turn left at the stoplight at Hillsborough Street, then left twice into the lot.

From Raleigh to 751 Airport Road before 6:15 p.m.: Take N.C. 54 to campus and turn right onto Country Club Road at the stone university sign. Turn right at the first stoplight onto Raleigh Street. Cross Franklin and Rosemary streets. Continue to next stoplight, at Airport Road. Go straight across Airport and turn left twice into lot.

From Raleigh to 751 Airport Road after 6:15 p.m.: Use directions above to the Swain lot and from there to 751. Arriving via Hillsborough Street after that time may cause you to be delayed as the pedestrian procession crosses Hillsborough.

Help during the ceremony: L.J. Toler of UNC News Services will staff the ceremony. Her pager number is 216-2584.

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News Services contacts: Print, L.J. Toler, 919-962-8589; broadcast, Karen Moon, 919-962-8595