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Committee for Salvaging Cultural Properties and Other Materials
Affected by The 2011 off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake
and Related Disasters:
Outline of the Activities in the Two Years (March 2011-April 2013)

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2011
March
112011 Earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tōhoku of Magnitude 9.0 with the epicenter off the Sanriku Region occurred at 14:46. Then the tsunami over 10 meters attacked the Pacific Coast area.
29Request was received from Miyagi Prefecture on salvaging its cultural property
30The Agency for Cultural Affairs fixed their policy to establish the Committee for Salvaging Cultural Properties Affected by the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku and Related Disasters.
April
1Message was delivered by Mr. Kondo Seiichi, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Japan titled “Call for your cooperation in saving and recovering cultural properties damaged by the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake”
15First meeting of the Committee for Salvaging Cultural Properties was held. The secretariat of the Committee was settled at the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Tokyo (Tobunken) to start the project for salvaging disaster-affected cultural property.
19Field Office of Miyagi Prefecture was set up at the Sendai City Museum to start the full-fledged salvaging activities in the prefecture
28Art objects affected by the tsunami were carried out of the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre
May
2Request was received from Iwate Prefecture on salvaging its cultural property
10The National Institutes for Cultural Heritage started to dispatch staff (mainly consists of the Tobunken staff) to station on full-time basis at the Field Office of Miyagi Prefecture
10Workshop for information sharing on the first-aid treatment of the tsunami-affected objects (at Tobunken)
12Investigation on the post-disaster condition of the art objects stored at the Rikuzentakata City Museum
14Salvage of the Mouri collection and the folk cultural objects stored at the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre
18Salvage of the statue of Vaisravana at Watatsumi Shrine (Higashi-matsushima City)
21Salvage of the folk cultural objects and fossils at the Iwaisaki Promenade Center (Kesennuma City)
27Salvage of the objects at curatorial office and human fossil bones at the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre
29Salvage of the agricultural books at the Miyagi Prefecture Agricultural High School (Natori City)
June
1Salvage of Kake-botoke sculptures (Buddha sculptures placed in shrines on the basis of Honji Suijaku’s theory) at Kumano Nachi Shrine (Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture)
9Collection of the scattered objects at the storage for the folk cultural objects in Ayukawa, Oshika-cho, Ishinomaki City
14Vacuum freeze dry treatment of the immersed objects was started at the Nara National Research Institute of Cultural Properties
16Transfer of the books stored at the Rikuzentakata City Museum
17Transfer of the archaeological objects at the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre
21Salvage of the folk cultural objects at the Marine Pal, Wholesale Market Onagawa (Onagawa Town)
22Salvage of the archaeological objects and folk cultural objects of the storage for the folk cultural objects in Ayukawa, Oshika-cho, Ishinomaki City
29Salvage of the immersed specimens and other objects at the Oshika Whale Land (Ayukawa, Oshika-cho, Ishinomaki City)
July
5Salvage of the archaeological objects at Buried cultural properties storage in Higashi matsushima (Nobiru, Higashi matsushima City)
9Transfer of the art objects at the Rikuzentakata City Museum to start the restoration work at a temporary conservation Laboratory in Morioka City (hereinafter Morioka Laboratory)
11Received the request from Ibaraki Prefecture on salvaging their cultural property
21Transfer of the salvaged objects of the Marine Pal Onagawa to the Miyagi Sant Juan Bautista Museum
26Second meeting of the Committee was held.
27Received the request from Fukushima Prefecture on salvaging their cultural property
27Transfer of the collection of the Utatsu Gyoryukan Museum (Utatsu Museum of Ichthyosaurus), Minami-sanriku Town
30Ended the full-time station of the staff of the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage at the Field Office of Miyagi Prefecture
August
10Fumigation of the art objects at the Rikuzentakata City Museum
25Started the first-aid treatment of the collection of the Rikuzentakata City Museum, of which the objects temporarily stored at the former Oide Elementary School
29 and 30Salvage of the documents of the Rikuzentakata Municipality Office
30Ended the first-aid treatment of the art works stored in collection of the Rikuzentakata City Museum and the operation at the Morioka Laboratory. The objects were transferred to the Iwate Prefectural Art Museum of Art
September
15Salvage of the historical objects left at the houses in Hirakata, Kita-ibaraki City, Ibaraki Prefecture
17Salvation/first aid of dampen cultural properties at Naganuma Storage in Sukagawa (Naganuma, Sukagawa City)
26Preparation of the temporary storage facility (at the former Oide Elementary School)
October
2Arrangement of the geological specimens and other objects stored at the Rikuzentakata City Museum was started
5Preparatory meeting of the Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture
10Salvation depending on building destruction of the damaged materials in Niihari Kyukokan (Chikusei City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
12 and 14 Transfer of the folk cultural objects stored in former Oshika Town (recently part of Ishinomaki City) for first-aid treatment
12Fumigation of the collection of the Rikuzentakata City Museum
November
15Salvage of the folk objects stored at Noda Village Library
December
7Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture: first meeting
12Third meeting of the Committee: Activities in Fukushima and the work plan of the next fiscal year were considered
14Desalination of the scroll of the ink impression stored at the Rikuzentakata City Museum
2012
January
17First-aid treatment of the disaster-affected folk cultural objects of Yamada Town, Iwate Prefecture
February
13Temporal transfer of the archaeological objects stored at the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre for first-aid treatment
21Carriage of the skeletal specimens out of the Oshika Whale Land
21First-aid treatment of the tsunami-affected paintings at Ryuzo-in Temple (Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture)
March
19Fourth meeting of the Committee: Prolongation of the activity of the Committee for the following fiscal year was decided.
21Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture: second meeting
April
1The Museum of Sea and Seashore was integrated into the Rikuzentakata City Museum. Former Oide Elementary School which had been used for a temporary storage facility began functioning as the new Rikuzentakata City Museum after maintenance
24Meeting with the Fukushima Educational Board on the salvage of the disaster-affected cultural property
May
15Kick-off meeting of the organization for the safeguarding of the disaster-affected cultural property in Fukushima Prefecture
17 and 18Inspection of the related facilities of the salvage projects of the cultural property in Iwate Prefecture by the Director General of the Committee
23 and 24Inspection of the related facilities of the salvage projects of the cultural property in Fukushima Prefecture (Fukushima Cultural Property Center, Shirakawa Branch, former Soma Women’s High School, Minamisoma City Museum)
June
2Cleaning and environmental investigation of the former Soma Women’s High School and other facilities which are used as temporary shelters
6Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture: third meeting
July
20Fifth meeting of the Committee: Decision to conduct the salvage of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Areas in Fukushima Prefecture was made
August
1 and 2Measurement of the radiation dose and packaging of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Area was started
21Ended the restoration of the disaster-affected oil paintings stored at the Iwate Prefectural Takata High School. The paintings were returned to the owner.
September
5Transfer of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Areas to the former Soma Women’s High School
6Assemblage of the disaster-affected cultural property carried into the former Soma Women’s High School was started
26Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture: fourth meeting
October
9Inspection of the Naraha Town Museum and the Ishikura Storage, assemblage of the objects, mainly the archaeological objects found at Tenjinbara Archaeological Site
8-12Fumigation of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Areas e at the former Soma Women’s High School
12Ended the conservation treatment of the bronze sculpture of the Ishinomaki Cultural Center. The objects were returned to the Miyagi Prefectural Art Gallery.
22-24On-site first-aid treatment of the Buddha statue stored at Yakushi-do pavilion at Io-ji Temple (Higashi-matsushima City)
24Transfer of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Areas to the former Soma Women’s High School
November
5 and 6Return of the collection of the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre after the conservation treatment to the Miyagi Museum of Art
7 and 8Inspection of the disaster-affected objects at Rias Arc Museu of Art (Kesennuma City), Tohoku History Museum (Tagajo City) about their restoration and consideration of the specification of the restoration
13Sixth Meeting of the Committee: Discussions on the closure of the committee and preparation of the final report were made
21Salvage of the disaster-affected archaeological objects after the cleaning treatment at the Mukaida Rearranging Room, Sendai City
21Transfer of the collections of the museums in the Restricted Areas after the measurement of the radiation dose and packaging
27Preparation of the investigation records and the list of the disaster-affected objects at Temporary Government building of the Ogatsu General Branch Office, Ishinomaki City
28Ended the restoration of the disaster-affected art objects of Rikuzentakata Municipal Hirota Junior High School. The objects were then returned to the Yorozu Tetsugoro Museum of Art
December
6First-aid cleaning and drying of the disaster-affected objects at Temporary Government building of the Ogatsu General Branch Office, Ishinomaki City
12Identification of the planned site of the temporary storage place in line with the dismantlement of the Ishinomaki Cultural Centre
2013
January
23First Open Forum of the Committee of the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property (Heiseikan Auditorium, Tokyo National Museum, number of participants: 152)
February
4Second Open Forum of the Committee of the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property (Heiseikan Auditorium, Tokyo National Museum, number of participants: 152)
4-9Transfer of the bronze part of the the Shochuhi memorial at Gokoku Shrine, Miyagi Prefecture
22Second Open Forum of the Committee of the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property (Heiseikan Auditorium, Tokyo National Museum, number of participants: 158)
25Headquarter meeting of the Salvage of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Fukushima Prefecture
March
13Liaison Conference for the Safeguarding of the Disaster Affected Cultural Property in Miyagi Prefecture: fifth meeting
22Ended the vacuum freeze dry treatment of the immersed objects at the Nara National Research Institute of Cultural Properties. The objects were returned to the former Miyagi Prefectural Archive.
25Seventh Meeting of the Committee
31Dissolution of the Committee
April
1Establishment of the office for the backlog of the Committee for Salvaging Cultural Properties Affected by the 2011 Earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Tohoku and Related Disasters (at Tobunken)
Note:
Some of the organization names were tentatively translated by Tobunken.
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