Program for capacity development along the Silk Road

On-site practice session at Qingshoutang Disanyuan, the Forbidden City

 Training for the group on the protection of old buildings, a part of the program for capacity development along the Silk Road (the first year of a two-year program) that started in Beijing on April 3 ended successfully after 15 weeks on July 11. Twelve trainees from the provinces of Xinjiang, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Henan participated in this part of the program. In the latter half of the program (from the eighth week), Qingshoutang Disanyuan of the Forbidden City was chosen as the site for practice sessions on the investigation of building conditions, techniques and measurement. This building is said to have been constructed near Yihejian, the building where Emperor Qianlong lived after his abdication, and to have served as quarters for actors and actresses who played for the retired emperor. Since then, the building has undergone some partial reconstructions, and now serves as workshop for the repair of fittings in the Forbidden City. Five specialists from The Japanese Association for Conservation of Architectural Monuments participated as lecturers at the on-site practical session. The first-year program ended with the completion of the drafting of a restoration plan based on investigation results. A proposal has been made to have the participants engage in the restoration of buildings damaged by the Sichuan Earthquake on May 12 for next year’s on-site restoration practice session.

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