The 25th Conference on Conservation and Restoration of Modern Cultural Heritage “Use of Oil-based Paints in Modern Architecture in Japan”

Presentation on a restoration project in The Museum, Meiji Mura
Presentation by a researcher from the chemistry section of the German Museum of Technology

 On February 10th, the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques hosted a study meeting on “Use of Oil-based Paints in Modern Architecture in Japan” in the Institute’s basement seminar hall. Oil-based paints were used in modern buildings from Meiji to Showa period. In recent attempts to restore these buildings, a frequently encountered problem has been the difficulty of identifying materials in paints. Even if they are identified, the original paints are often hard to obtain, so other materials have to be employed to repaint. Under this situation, specialists from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, museums – from both curatorial and science sections –, and a private company, met to discuss how the modern buildings, i.e. current cultural properties, were painted at that time, how those paints can be identified, why oil-based paints are hard to obtain now, and the steps that can be taken to solve these problems. Presentations were made concerning techniques to identify materials in paint samples and the difficulties in oil-based paints includes the historical background that they became obsolete because of their slow drying property. The speakers were actively engaged by the audience of 45, making the study meeting a meaningful one.

to page top