Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties Center for Conservation Science
Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage


Investigation of inner structure of Baird’s beaked whale specimen

Damaged Baird’s beaked whale specimen being X-rayed for investigation

 The Baird’s beaked whale specimen (Berardius bairdii : nickname “Tsutchy”) exhibited at the Rikuzentakata Sea and Shell Museum is a whale (total length is about 10m) that was stuffed to celebrate the meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Tokyo in 1954. The specimen was damaged by the great east Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, 2011. After the primary inspection of damage at the museum on May 28th, 2011, the specimen was transferred to the Tsukuba Research Department of the National Museum of Nature and Science on June 30th, 2011. Currently, the project for restoration of the specimen is in progress.
 In this project, it is important to understand the structure of the timberworks and the location of corroded nails inside the specimen. At the request of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Masahide INUZUKA and Midori HAMADA investigated the inner structure of the specimen using X-ray radiography from October 16th to 18th and from 23rd to 25th, 2016. For this research, we used the developing equipment, which is dedicated to imaging plates that were introduced to our institute in 2015. Accordingly, we proceeded with the research by confirming the X-ray transmission images each time they were obtained.
 To investigate the overall inner structure of the specimen with the total length of about 10m, we obtained 375 X-ray images in total. The information about the structure of the timberworks and the location of corroded nails inside the specimen obtained from these X-ray images will be referred to during the investigation using an endoscope and the restoration works.

Investigation in Armenia and Iran, Our Partner Countries

Dyed and Woven Fabric Works Stored at the Etchmiadzin Cathedral Museum

 From September 26th through October 6th, 2016, we visited the Republic of Armenia and the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to grasp the need for cooperation in cultural heritage protection.
 Regarding Armenia, the first visiting country in this time, the cooperation agreement has already concluded with the Ministry of Culture in Armenia. We jointly conducted investigation/research and conservation/restoration activities for archaeological metal materials with the History Museum of Armenia as our counterpart from 2011 through 2014. During this visit, we visited the Ministry of Culture, the History Museum of Armenia, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral Museum and others again to consult about the development of future projects. We are planning to cooperate with Armenia in technological transfer in the conservation/restoration area for dyed and woven fabric works.
 Then in Iran, we mainly visited the Iran Cultural Heritage Handicraft and Tourism Organization, the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage & Tourism, and the National Museum of Iran. Air pollution issues were often referred to during the discussions with Iranin experts. At present, air pollution is a seirous social problem in the capital, Teheran. During the consulattion, they pointed out the possibility that this serious air pollution might affect items exhibitied or stored at musums. We are considering joint research on such issues for improvement of exhibition and storage envrionemnts in Iran.

Facility Tour

Students Being Briefed (Sept. 21st)

 On September 21st, seventeen students came here from Kanazawa College of Art to learn how to introduce specialized research and study into their Aesthetics & Art History course. Leading researchers briefed their operations at the Performing Arts Studio of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Library of the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, and the Restoration Materials Section of the Center for Conservation Science.

Donated Materials Related to Kikuji YAMASHITA

“Part of the Materials Owned by Masako Yamashita”

 The materials related to Kikuji YAMASHITA (1919-1986) previously possessed by his wife Masako YAMASHITA (1926-2014) were donated from a certain person as of September 30th, 2016. Kikuji is one of the artists representing the Showa era. His works and materials, as well as related works, had also been donated to the Itabashi Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, and the Tokushima Modern Art Museum. The materials provided for this Institute had been kept on hand by Masako until she passed away. Their volume is so large that the book racks about 6 m in length are filled with them. These materials include photos Kikuji may have taken, and materials cut off to be used for his works, which help us to research and understand him deeply. Among them, the photos taken during World War II, when he served on active duty, and after the war as an employee working at the Educational Movie Division of Toho are valuable in the study of the modern history of Japan.
 The Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems has accepted the archives of modern artists including Taketaro SHINKAI and Hotsuma KATORI to make them available at the Library. We are now organizing these donated materials owned by Masako to make them accessible while giving consideration to private information, privacy or material conservation issues.

Participation in the 27th Annual Conference of the EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists): “International Cooperation between Japanese Studies Libraries”

On-going 27th Annual Conference of the EAJRS

 The annual conference of the EAJRS (European Association of Japanese Resource Specialists) was held at the Central Library of Bucharest University in Romania from September 14th through 17th, 2016. The EAJRS is mainly composed of librarians, university professors, museum and art gallery staff members, and other experts who are stimulating interest in and encouraging research in Japanese studies in Europe. At its annual conference for 2016 titled “International Cooperation between Japanese Studies Libraries,” a wide variety of presentations and reports were made through 11 sessions, including the history of Japanese studies, the history of collecting Japanese materials, the program to dispatch Japanese librarians to overseas, the program to invite overseas Japanese studies librarians to Japan, the latest trends in digital humanities, and the project to conserve old Japanese books. (For more information, please access the website of the EAJRS: http://eajrs.net/.) I made a presentation under the title of “Expansion of Cultural Archives at the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP): Providing Contents of The Yearbook of Japanese Art for Global Academic Information Infrastructure” to introduce information transmission projects we have been working on this year, including the provision of data for the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). During the exchange of opinions after the presentation, many people expected us to release our research information accumulated in the Institute. During the term of the conference, lots of exhibition booths were installed by relevant institutions and companies in the lobby of the venue for information sharing and PR activities. At the general assembly held on the final day, it was decided that the next annual conference for 2017 would take place in Oslo, Norway, and the conference ended. With many suggestions on improvement of the accessibility to Japanese cultural property information, attending the conference was a good opportunity for me to think over our archive activities in the large framework of transmitting information on Japanese studies.

Research on Production of Spiderwort-dyed Paper – Start of Joint Research with Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture

Petals of Asiatic Dayflowers Are Being Picked (Photo Provided by Kusatsu City)
Extract from Asiatic Dayflowers Are Being Applied to Japanese Paper (Photo Provided by Kusatsu City)

The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage started a joint research on the spiderwort-dyed paper production technique with the Kusatsu Municipal Government in Shiga Prefecture from FY2016. Spiderwort-dyed paper is Japanese paper soaked in the extract from Asiatic dayflower petals.
Spiderwort-dyed paper was a specialty of Omi Province, Tokaido, which was also referred to in an old book titled “Kefukigusa” ‘(written in 1638). The paper is used for Yuzen dyeing and tie dyeing even today. As for Yuzen dyeing, the water-soluble feature of the blue pigment of Asiatic dayflowers has been utilized. For Yuzen, coloring is performed after drawing a fine pattern with a solution prepared by submerging spiderwort-dyed paper in water, and placing paste for fine line printing like a levee to prevent dyes from penetrating. Spiderwort-dyed paper is indispensable for colorful dyeing with silk fabrics.
However, there are only three producers of spiderwort-dyed paper left. In this joint research, with cooperation from such producers, we will organize its value as local and eventually national cultural property or heritage for utilization as basic data for future protection.
We will examine how we will be able to hand down the spiderwort-dyed paper production technique transferred from person to person to the coming generation while making comparisons with cases in other districts.

Mission for the Project “Technical Assistance for the Protection of Damaged Cultural Heritage in Nepal” (Part 3)

Presentation at the Session to Report Our Investigation Outcomes
Residents of Khokana Expressing Their Opinions

 Under the above-mentioned support project through the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, we continued to dispatch staff to the site in Nepal. This time (August 31st through September 11th, 2016), we sent four members including outside experts.
As part of this project, we conducted investigation activities at the village of Khokana, which is on the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites, so as to examine how to rehabilitate damaged historical villages. In Khokana, many residents are forced to live in temporary housing. How to balance early reconstruction with the conservation of historical streetscapes is a challenge in rehabilitation.
 As one of the main activities in this dispatch, we organized a debriefing session for local residents to explain the outcome of our last year’s investigation. The session was attended by more than 100 residents with greater interest, who asked questions and expressed their opinions after the presentation. They were highly suggestive for us in considering how we should conduct a further investigation or make contributions to them.
 Our investigation revealed that not only Khokana but the whole country lacks sufficient systems to preserve historical villages, which results in preventing the passion of citizens from promoting the conservation of their streetscapes. Japan, which had not conserved historical villages thoroughly in the past, established its legal system through a process of trial and error for the protection of historical villages and landscapes, including the system for the Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings. Referring to this experience in Japan, we will continue to provide technical support for local institutions to contribute to the conservation of historical villages in Nepal.

Investigation of Damaged Murals in Bagan (Myanmar) after the Earthquake

Devastated Temple
Mural Pieces Scattering over the Ground

On August 24th, 2016, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, the epicenter of which was located in Chauk, Central Myanmar, occurred. Many pagoda temples of the Bagan Archaeological Zone also suffered from the earthquake. From September 24th through 30th, 2016, we investigated the murals conserved in that Zone for confirmation.
 Together with the staff from the Bagan Branch of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library, the Ministry of Culture, we conducted an on-site investigation to check the extent of the damage to the murals mainly at the temples in which serious damage had been reported in advance. As a result, we found that cracks on the brick temples supporting the murals and the movements of the brick pieces led to plaster damage, and the damage levels differed according to the various mural production techniques and materials used in the Pagan Dynasty. In addition, we revealed that some of the materials used in the past restoration were not suitable for the murals in Bagan, even going so far as being detrimental to them.
 In the Bagan Archaeological Zone, the rehabilitation activities to protect its old temples are still proceeding. Me-Taw-Ya Temple (No. 1205), for which we are considering emergency measures and conservation/restoration methods for its external walls as our project, was also damaged. We will work on further activities while paying attention to the restoration materials to be introduced with a focus on the negative factors unveiled by the earthquake, establishment of emergency measures, and development of experts involved in these processes.

Holding International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper 2016

Demonstration of lining in a practical session

 International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper took place from August 29th through September16th, 2016. This course has been held jointly by the Tokyo National Research Institute for CulturalProperties (TNRICP) and theInternationalCentrefor theStudy of thePreservation and Restoration ofCultural Property (ICCROM) since 1992. The course aims to disseminate techniques and knowledge on the preservation and restoration of cultural properties made of paper in Japan so as to contribute to the protection of cultural properties overseas. In 2016, among 64 applicants from 36 countries, we invited 10 specialists in conservation, each of them from Lithuania, Poland, Croatia, Iceland, South Korea, New Zealand, Egypt, Spain, Belgium and Bhutan.
 The course consists of lectures, practical sessions and a field study. The lectures covered the overview of the protection of cultural properties in Japan, the protection system for intangible cultural properties in Japan, restoration materials and their basic science, and the tools for restoration. The practical sessions were comprised of mainly restoring a paper object and mounting it to a handscroll, and were conducted by restorers from a certificated organization holding “soko” (restoration technique based on traditional mounting) which is selected as Techniques for the Preservation of Cultural Properties by Japanese government. In addition, the participants learned Japanese-style book binding, and handling a folding screen and a hanging scroll. As the field study, the participants went to Nagoya, Mino and Kyoto cities to visit producers of handmade Japanese paper, the stores selling restoration materials and tools, historical buildings decorated with cultural properties such as wall paintings and hanging scrolls, a traditional restoration studio, and so forth. On the last day, the participants exchanged opinions on how Japanese paper is used and issues in each country. We expect the participants to gain a deeper understanding of not only Japanese restoration materials and tools, but also related knowledge and skills through this course so as to apply them to restoration of their cultural heritage.

Facility Tour in August

Committee Members Receiving Explanation (Aug. 31st)

 On August 31st, twelve members of the executive committee for the program of “Cultural Properties Protected by People and Museums Protecting People” visited the Institute to refer to its research activities on disaster prevention and risk management. The members were given an explanatory tour by researchers at the Biological Science Laboratory of the Center for Conservation Science, as well as a lecture from Director Ken OKADA.

Seminar Held by Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems — Letters to Seiki Kuroda from His Foster Mother, Sadako

Seiki Kuroda and his foster mother, Sadako
Part of a letter from Sadako to Seiki Kuroda dated July 9th, 1886

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) possesses a number of letters addressed to Seiki Kuroda (1866-1924), a Western-style painter who contributed greatly to the foundation of the Institute. As these letters are important materials for understanding his human network, the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems has been working on their transcription and investigation. Among them, there are letters that were exchanged between Kuroda and his family. With the objective of also focusing on such communications with his family, Mr. Jun TANAKA, Research Assistant of the Department, gave a research presentation titled “Transcription and Bibliographical Introduction of Letters to Seiki Kuroda from His Foster Mother, Sadako Kuroda” at the Departmental seminar.
 Sadako Kuroda (1842-1904), the wife of Kiyotsuna Kuroda who adopted Seiki as his heir, raised Seiki from his infancy. The letters sent to Sadako from Seiki during his period of study in France had already been transcribed and published in “Diary of Seiki Kuroda” (Chuo Koron Art Publishing Corporation, 1966). At this seminar, over 70 letters from Sadako to Seiki were introduced. As was the case with the letters from Seiki to Sadako, the letters from Sadako were also written in plain kana characters with colloquial expressions inserted here and there. The contents pertain mostly to family news, telling Seiki, who was studying abroad, the recent events of family members in detail and her husband Kiyotsuna’s intention. She thus seems to have been serving as a mediator between the father and the son. In particular, when Seiki, who had left for France to study law, decided to direct his efforts toward becoming a painter, it is worth noting that Sadako, together with Kiyotsuna, expressed her support by writing, “It’s a very, very good idea” in her letter dated July 9th, 1886. It would be no exaggeration to say that the painter Seiki Kuroda came into being thanks to such emotional support from his foster parents. This seminar has given us an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of family ties in Kuroda’s accomplishments as a painter.

Liaison Council for “Disaster Prevention of Intangible Cultural Heritage”

Liaison Council meeting

 A meeting of the Liaison Council for “Disaster Prevention of Intangible Culture Heritage” was held at the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP), on August 22nd and 23rd, attended by persons in charge of cultural properties in eastern Japan.
 Since July 2014, the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage has been working on the “promotion program of the National Taskforce for the Japanese Cultural Heritage Disaster Risk Mitigation Network” commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Under this program, with the objective of studying and promoting disaster prevention of intangible cultural heritage, for which sufficient measures have not yet been established, the TNRICP’s Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage has carried out activities to collect and share information on the locations of cultural assets as the basic information in disaster prevention and to build a network among the parties concerned in cooperation with the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems. This Liaison Council meeting was held as a part of these activities by inviting persons in charge of cultural properties in each prefecture of eastern Japan. The collection of information was urged and information concerning the situations of each area and activities/challenges in disaster prevention was exchanged. On the 22nd, 11 members from East Japan Study Group of Museum Attendants Specialized in Folklore , the co-host of this meeting, also participated, bringing the total number of participants to nearly 40.
 The Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage plans to hold a Liaison Council meeting for people in western Japan in late autumn and a meeting of the Conference on the Study of Intangible Folk Cultural Properties in December under the theme of disaster prevention. We will continue to make efforts to further study and promote “disaster prevention of intangible cultural heritage”.

Presentation Meeting of the Results of Japan-Korea Research Exchange on Intangible Cultural Heritage

Presentation meeting of the results of the research exchange

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP), has been conducting a joint study on intangible cultural heritage with the National Intangible Heritage Center of the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea. As a part of this project, the “presentation meeting of the results of the Japan-Korea research exchange on intangible cultural heritage” was held at the National Intangible Heritage Center located in Jeonju-si, Korea, on August 30th, where the results of the joint study were presented. Six persons, including mainly staff members of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, attended the presentation meeting from the TNRICP.
 Representing the Institute, Researcher Riyo KIKUCHI gave a presentation titled “Japan-Korea Research Exchange (2012-2016) on Protection and Handing Down of Intangible Cultural Heritage,” which was followed by a proposition titled “Approach of the Future Study Exchange” presented by Hiromichi KUBOTA, Head of the Intangible Folk Cultural Properties Section. In response to the above, two presenters from the Korean side presented a report and a proposition. Subsequently, there was a comprehensive discussion by all the participants.
 Through the joint study, it has been clarified that there are some similarities and differences between Japan and Korea in terms of approaches to intangible cultural heritage. At the presentation meeting, it was decided as a policy that both parties would be able to exchange information concerning common problems and challenges and to promote discussion based on mutual understanding of these similarities and differences.
 For example, it was explained that Korea is now very interested in how to promote intangible cultural heritage and the major issue is how it can be supported by the public sector such as the National Intangible Heritage Center. On the other hand, today in Japan, although the involvement of the public sector in the field of intangible cultural heritage is not as notable as in Korea, we consider it one of the Institute’s missions to carry out studies that can contribute to cultural handing down and inheritance. In this regard, we believe that we will be able to devise a better approach for both the parties by addressing the common challenge of “how to hand down intangible cultural heritage” though the exchange of opinions and discussion on each possible approach. This should also be one of the merits of a joint study carried out between the two countries.
 It is our hope that, on the basis of the results of this presentation meeting, the research exchange between the two countries will be further accelerated, bringing about constructive discussion.

Completion of the restoration works for the mural paintings in the Kitora tumulus

Packing for transportation

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Tobunken) has been conducting the project “Work on the investigation of the preservation measures for Kitora Tumulus, a special historic site” since 2004. As the mural paintings in the tumulus required conservation treatments, it was decided that they would be removed from the tumulus and currently conserved externally. Three types of conservation treatments were conducted: maintaining the mural paintings in the tumulus, removing the mural paintings from the tumulus stone, and reconstructing the mural painting fragments. The removal of the mural paintings had been conducted for over 6 years, and the paintings were separated into 1143 fragments. The paintings have been reconstructed in the restoration facility in Asuka-mura, Nara prefecture. The Tobunken team has developed conservation techniques and performed experimental checks for this project, and the Association for the Conservation of National Treasures, an association of conservators for Japanese paintings, has applied the developed techniques.
 On August 24th and 25th, 2016, three reconstructed mural paintings, the south wall with suzaku, west wall with byakko, and the ceiling with an astronomical chart were moved from the restoration facility to “Shijin no yakata”. This museum opened on September 24th, and the three mural paintings was exhibited for a month.

Conclusion of an Agreement regarding the Implementation of the “Project to Formulate the Basic Grounds for Sending Information on Cultural Assets Centered on Fine Arts and Crafts both Domestically and Internationally”

Results of a search on OCLC WorldCat website

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) concluded an agreement regarding the implementation of the “project to formulate the basic grounds for sending information on cultural assets centered on fine arts and crafts both domestically and internationally” with the National Museum of Western Art (NMWA), Tokyo on June 27th, 2016. NMWA was established on the basis of the collection of Japanese business tycoon Kojiro MATSUKATA in 1959. The database of its collection has been acclaimed highly as the norm by experts both at home and abroad as it meets the requirements of the study of art history. The purpose of signing the treaty this time around is for NRICPT to step up its efforts at sending information about the cultural assets in Japan that it discloses on the Internet by making use of NMWA’s method of, and experience in, disseminating information. As the first project under the concluded treaty, we plan to provide the global library service organization Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) with the “information on literature listed on the exhibition catalogues published in Japan,” which has been included in the Year Book of Japanese Art that NRICPT compiles and publishes. Through a project like this, we will continue to improve accessibility to information on research on Japanese art overseas.

Participation in the 40th Session of the World Heritage Committee

The Istanbul Congress Center, the venue of the session
Plenary session of the Committee

 The 40th session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from July 10th, 2016. Two staff members of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) participated in the Committee.
It was the third review of “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier,” which includes the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, as one of components of the property, since the first review was conducted in 2009. As the Advisory Body (ICOMOS) recommended that it be inscribed on the World Heritage List, expectations grew among parties concerned when the review the following day became almost certain to be held in the evening of July 15th. Owing to the repercussions of an attempted coup by the military that occurred on the night of the 15th to the early morning of the 16th, however, the session on the 16th was canceled and it was decided on the 17th that the property be inscribed on the List. To reduce the time for discussion, the Committee Members were not allowed to comment on the sites which were recommend by the Advisory Bodies to be inscribed on the World Heritage List; thus, it was unfortunate that we were unable to hear their opinions about the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier.
 From this time, regarding the nominated properties for inscription on the World Heritage List, the States Parties concerned are notified of the interim evaluation made by the World Heritage Panel. On the basis of this evaluation, they can modify their nomination files for the final evaluation. There are different responses by the States Parties. While some withdrew their files, others revised them significantly to prepare for the evaluation. There were cases in which the Advisory Bodies’ negative recommendation was overturned by the Committee and it was decided that the property be inscribed on the List. Given such cases, discussions should be continued on how recommendation and evaluations are made by the Advisory Bodies.
 Note that although the session of the committee was scheduled to last until July 20th, it was abruptly adjourned on the 17th because of the coup. The session will be resumed at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from October 24th to 26th, 2016, where agenda items are due to be discussed, such as minor boundary modifications of the properties already inscribed on the World Heritage List, including “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range,” and a revision to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

World Heritage Inscription of the Ruins of Nan Madol in the Federated States of Micronesia and Japan’s International Cooperation

A man-made island built with megalith in Nan Madol
Discussing plans to conserve and manage the ruins with a staff in charge from the National Government of the Federated States of Micronesia.

 The Ruins of Nan Madol in the Federated States of Micronesia were inscribed on the List of World Heritage (and simultaneously on the List of World Heritage in Danger) at the 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held from July 10th to 17th, 2016. The ruins are composed of 95 man-made islands of various sizes built with gigantic stones such as basalt and are among the largest ruins of megalithic culture in the Pacific region. Inscription on the List of World Heritage had been a long-cherished dream of the island nation.
 In 2010, the nation asked Japan to extend international cooperation in protecting these ruins through the UNESCO office for the Pacific region. In response, the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (Consortium) conducted a field survey of the partner nation in February 2011 and published the findings in the “Survey Report on the Present State of Nan Madol, Federated States of Micronesia.” Since then, the Consortium, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties have taken the initiative using subsidies from the Japan Foundation and other organizations in implementing projects to develop human resources and transfer technology to protect the ruins. During the course of the implementation, we were able to secure the participation and cooperation of individuals, including Professor Osamu Kataoka of Kansai Gaidai University, who has studied the ruins over many years, and various organizations from governmental, industrial and academic sectors, such as the Institute of Industrial Science of The University of Tokyo, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, NPO Pacifika Renaissance, and Windy Network Corporation.
 One of the Consortium’s ideals is to build a common base for a broad range of domestic parties involved in the protection of cultural assets to join hands and work together, so that Japan may be able to work on international cooperation through concerted efforts. The project to provide the Ruins of Nan Madol with cooperation to protect them is the perfect showcase of this ideal. Moreover, the fruits of such effort most probably led to its inscription on the List of World Heritage.
 Having said so, however, the Ruins of Nan Madol were also simultaneously inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. This means that many parts of the ruins have continued to collapse. In addition, plans and systems to protect them are not yet adequate, so it indicates that Nan Madol will still need the assistance and cooperation of a large number of experts in the future.

Attending the International Symposium at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing

Presentation of Hu Wei, Deputy Director of The National Art Museum of China

 Dr. Yasuhiro Hayakawa (Center for Conservation Science) attended the International Symposium on the National Art Collection’s Conservation held in the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. The National Art Museum of China is the largest art museum in China and established the conservation center a few years ago. The art museum has been promoting the conservation of art works in the conservation center and has completed communication and cooperation with foreign conservation institutions.
 Fourteen researchers and restorers in the field of conservation and restoration were invited from Japan, US, UK, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Nineteen talks on topics such as the philosophy of conservation, examples of paintings’ conservation and results of scientific investigation were presented in the symposium. Dr. Hayakawa presented the research work of the material analysis of the Japanese paintings using cutting-edge technology. More than 30 directors of public art museums in China also participated. It shows that China is actively promoting the establishment of philosophy and the acquisition of conservation for artworks.

A mission for the Project “Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal” (Part 2)

Working with local experts at the site

 As part of the above-mentioned support project through the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, we have continued to dispatch staff to the site in Nepal.
 In view of its state of damage, it was determined that it is necessary to quickly provide a temporary support to Aganchen Temple (built in the middle of the 17th century), the main target of examination at the Hanuman Dhoka Palace in Kathmandu. Specifically, in terms of “countermeasures against leakage of rain at the top of the roof,” “ infilling temporary structure inside the building,” “providing support of collapsing outer walls” and “securing safety for prayers and tourists against falling objects,” Japanese experts of the project team drew up plans with the help of local experts and submitted the proposed plans to the Department of Archaeology. On the basis of these plans, emergency stabilization work was implemented. To supervise the details of design and provide technical advice, we dispatched experts from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) in three batches, that is, May 28th to June 4th, June 13th to 19th and July 3rd to 9th, 2016.
 This time around, we only provided temporary measures for this project. However, while exchanging views and opinions with local experts and artisans on a face-to-face basis, we could believe that the work was significant in terms of not only tangible contribution but also technology transfer to the site, which is also another objective of this project. We will continue to conduct research in an attempt for further restoration the historic heritage.

Investigation of Outer Walls of Brick-built Archaeological Sites to Implement Countermeasures against Leakage of Rain and Review of Emergency Measures in Bagan, Myanmar

Appearance of the Mae-taw-yat temple
An experiment on filling using hydraulic lime

 From July 18th to 29th, 2016, we carried out investigations of damage to outer walls of a brick-built temple as well as conducted review and experiments of restoration materials at the Mae-taw-yat temple (No. 1205) within the Bagan Archaeological Zone. These investigations and experiments were implemented on the basis of the outcome of the survey that verified the state of conservation of the mural paintings on the internal walls of the temple, which had been completed in the previous fiscal year and revealed that the main cause of exfoliation and chipping of the plaster layer is leakage of rain.
 A European expert on brick material conservation and restoration participated in this on-site work. With staff members of the Myanmar Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs and the Bagan Branch of the Department of Archeology, National Museum and Library, we verified the characteristics of burnt bricks manufactured during the Pagan Dynasty from a wide variety of angles. On the basis of the findings and considering Myanmar’s tropical rainforest climate, we selected materials suitable for restoration and conducted their tests as emergency measures for preventing leakage of rain. In consideration of the appearance at the archeological sites, we will continue to improve materials through monitoring the condition over time,. Furthermore, we performed multipoint measurements using a digital moisture meter to identify the distribution of moisture in the internal walls of the temple, and also took a video using a digital 4K camcorder to record the state of the external walls prior to the implementation of emergency measures.
 In this project, we aim not only to take temporary measures but also to establish a permanent method of addressing the problem. In anticipation of Bagan’s future, we will study reasonable ways that fit the current situation surrounding the protection of cultural properties in Myanmar and also work on capacity building of budding experts.

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