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Cooperation for the preservation of historic textiles in the Republic of Armenia


 In the Republic of Armenia, located in the Caucasus, a number of religiously and historically valuable items including ritual clothing and accessories handed down since ancient times are stored in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin, a World Heritage Site. In addition, numerous organic substances such as fibers have been unearthed from archaeological sites. Since there are not many professionals who can treat such items in Armenia, the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties has organized a training workshop for the conservation of historic textiles, jointly with the Ministry of Culture in Armenia since 2017. In this way, we cooperate to develop human resources in various fields in many countries for passing the precious cultural heritage to succeeding generations.

Conservation work of the collection of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin

Cooperation for the protection of Syrian cultural heritage in a state of war


 A large-scale democratic movement started in Syria in March 2011 and escalated into a war. In the more than seven 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 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. Considering the difficult situation in Syria, the Institute invited Syrian experts and organized in cooperation with the National Archives of Japan and the National Diet Library, a training workshop for the conservation of paper in 2018.

Training workshop for the conservation of paper

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

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