Top page > Institute Information > Topics3

Institute Information Topics3


Cooperation for managing the conservation of mural paintings in Turkey

 There are many important historical mural paintings in Turkey. Those in Cappadocia are well-known worldwide. In order to strengthen the conservation of such wall paintings, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been conducting research activities from 2016 in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey and other authorities. By improving understanding of the techniques and materials used for wall paintings as well as continuing proper maintenance, it will be possible to hand down these precious cultural properties to posterity. The Center is planning to hold field courses to reinforce expertise and skills of local specialists and graduate students majoring in the conservation and restoration of cultural properties. Furthermore, activities will be conducted to help more people understand the significance of historical cultural properties and the importance of conservation so that these properties may be handed down to future generations.

Condition survey of a mural painting in Ihlara Valley

Organizing symposia on the state of damage to cultural heritage sites during the Syrian civil war

 A large-scale democratic movement started in Syria in March 2011 and escalated into a civil war. In the more than six years since, the death toll has exceeded 470,000 and another 5 million people have been forced to flee the country. Syria has seen damage to historically significant cultural heritage sites during the civil war, and this has been covered as major news around the world. Aleppo and the Crac des Chevaliers, major historic sites in Syria, have been used as military bases, and archaeological heritage sites and museums throughout the country have been damaged by looting and stealing. From August to October 2015, the site of Palmyra, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, was destroyed deliberately by the Islamic State. The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has organized symposia regularly since 2013 with the aim of identifying the state of damage to Syrian cultural heritage sites and bringing their significance to the attention of people in Japan. In 2016, a symposium entitled “Syrian Civil War and Cultural Heritage: Current status of the site of Palmyra and international support for reconstruction” was held in Tokyo and Nara under the joint sponsorship of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and the Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office (Nara) of the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO.

Collections of Palmyra Museum damaged by the
Islamic State (Courtesy of Dr. Robert Zukowski)

©Independent Administrative Institution National Institutes for Cultural Heritage Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties