Buddha's soul is said to have been removed from a statue in Japan so it could be cleaned in preparation for a festival.
It was removed during a ceremony on Wednesday conducted by priests.
Then 180 priests and worshippers climbed the 15-metre high structure in Nara, near Osaka, to begin cleaning.
Many of them worked from inside baskets suspended from the ceiling.
Dusting of the statue takes place on August 7 every year ahead of the Japanese Bon Festival, where communities pay respect to their ancestors.
Many people came to watch the cleaning. A student of cultural properties from neighbouring Osaka Prefecture said it was her first time to see the process and she was very impressed that the work involves so many people.