This work proposes the virtual restoration of the Bodhidharma polychrome sculpture from the Lingyan Temple in China. Based on scientific analyses and simulation experiments, exterior colours and textures were virtually restored by combining 3D scanning and multi-view 3D reconstruction. At the same time, an efficient cultural relics high-fidelity information 3D modelling method was proposed. Colours and textures are essential for polychrome cultural relics, reflecting the historical appearance and technology. Due to long periods of natural ageing and the destruction of environmental factors, the colours and textures of polychrome sculptures are often altered or radically changed, making it difficult for people to appreciate the initial appearance. With the rapid development of digital technology and high-fidelity 3D modelling, virtual reality technology allows us to restore the appearance of cultural relics. This study expands the dimension of cultural relics exhibition, provides new perspectives for archaeology, art history and cultural heritage research, and provides a reference for the virtual restoration and digitalised archive of other cultural relics.