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


Conservation training program for Iraqi experts

Training for conserving and restoring dyed textiles (Joshibi University of Art and Design)

 The project of fostering experts in conservation laboratories of Iraq National Museum has been conducted since 2004 with funding from grants from the Institute and UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust. Through this project, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has invited total 18 conservation experts as trainees, and trainees who have returned to their home countries are making use of the techniques they learned in restoring various cultural properties.
 In pevious training sessions, the trainees have practiced using the equipment offered to the museum, centering on metalware, with the cooperation of various organizations in Japan. This year, we conducted training on the conservation and restoration of dyed textiles, and using the instruments necessary to conserve and restore cultural heritage and analyze materials (training on equipment use), in line with the wishes of UNESCO and the Iraq National Museum. Although it was a relatively short period of three months from June 18 to September 19, we not only conducted training on conservation and restoration techniques, but introduced lectures on the concept of conservation that informs the techniques and on diverse scientific knowledge, as well as practical training aimed at fostering human resources who can train specialists at each museum rather than just simple restoration experts. The training was carried out with the cooperation of university researchers, who took the lead of conservation and analysis of dyed textiles, as well as conservation/restoration experts. At the Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage, the trainees learned how to conserve archeological relics, treat unearthed objects at an excavation site, and handle items buried at actual sites. In terms of practical training on the conservation and restoration of dyed textiles, we asked professors specialized in the basics of conservation and the history of dyed textiles to give basic lectures on their specialties, and the trainees had practical training on conservation/restoration and storage management of the short-sleeved kimono of the Edo Period and the Coptic textiles owned by Joshibi University of Art and Design with the cooperation of the university. The trainees also attended lectures on the usage of various instruments and analytical techniques as well as practical training with the cooperation of the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques of the Institute and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. In January 2009, some exhibitions restarted in the Iraq National Museum. So far, one-third of the cultural properties which were lost during the chaos in Iraq have been returned to the Museum, and they are now gradually but securely advancing toward restoration. We are looking forward to seeing the conservation specialists who participated in this training bear the future of the Museum and contribute to Iraq’s recovery.


Training of Iraqi Specialists

Japanese language training

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation used the government subsidized budget for the Cooperative Project for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in West Asia and UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in Trust for the Reconstruction of the Conservation and Restoration Department of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad in order to invite Iraqi conservation specialists to Japan for training to transfer techniques for conservation and of cultural heritage. This year four specialists in conservation – Ms. Senaa C. A. Al-Timini, Mr. Fadhil A. Allaw, Mr. Mohammad K. M. J. Al-Mimar and Ms.Baan A. M. A. Al-Jameel – have been invited from the Iraq National Museum. They will spend 3 months, from June 19 to September 18, receiving practical training on the conservation of textiles and training on equipment for conservation of cultural properties and material analysis. The program will be conducted with the cooperation of domestic institutes for conservation and restoration, including Joshibi University of Art and Design, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and the Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Properties.


Training of Afghan and Iraqi specialists

Practicing peeling off remains (Shizuoka Prefectural Institute for Buried Cultural Properties)
Practicing conservation of metal relics (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

 Funded by grants from the Institute and UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation invited Afghan and Iraqi specialists engaged in the conservation of cultural heritage and archaeology, and conducted training for capacity development and transfer of techniques.
 Two archaeology specialists from Afghanistan were invited from the Institute of Archaeology in Kabul: Mr. Ketab Khan Faizy and Mr. Ruhullah Ahumadozai. They received training in archaeology for 5 months, during which time they participated in on-site excavation and studied the methods for excavation and measuring of sites and objects not only at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, but also with the cooperation of such organizations as the Tokyo Metropolitan Buried Cultural Property Research Center, Nagareyama City Board of Education and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.
 Two Iraqi conservator were invited from the Iraq National Museum: Ms. Buthainah M. Abdulhussein, Director of the Central Laboratory of Restoration and Conservation of Antiquities, and Mr. Thmar R. Abuduallah, a conservator. The two received 6 months of training from July to December 2008 on conservation, mainly of wooden artifacts, as well as practical training to acquire relevant conservation techniques. This project was conducted with the cooperation of various domestic institutions for conservation, such as the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, the Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage and the Kyushu National Museum. The trainees practiced conservation of wooden objects at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and of metal objects at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. They further learned basic scientific investigation methods for wooden materials at the Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage and about the latest analysis devices including 3-dimensional CT scanners at the Kyushu National Museum.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation intends to continue to assist in the capacity development of specialists who are engaged in the conservation of cultural heritage in Afghanistan and Iraq through similar training courses.


Training of Iraqi and Afghan specialists

Iraqi conservators learning about the conservation and restoration of wooden artefacts (wooden cabinet, Verkehr Museum collection)

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation implements training programs for Iraqi and Afghan specialists who are engaged in the conservation of cultural properties as well as archaeological studies in order to train specialists and transfer technology. These programs are funded by grants from the Institute and the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust. This year, a six-month training is conducted from July 1 to December 10 and two conservators from the Iraq National Museum (Mr. Buthainah M. Abdulhussein and Mr. Thmar R. Abduallah) have been invited. The training program is designed to help these specialists acquire techniques for the conservation and restoration of wooden artifacts and obtain various conservation and restoration techniques. The program enjoys the cooperation of the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Shizuoka Prefectural Institute for Buried Cultural Properties, Kyushu National Museum and other institutions in Japan. Two Afghan archaeologists (Mr. Ketab Khan Faizi and Mr. Rohullah Ahmadzai) have also been invited to a training program at our Institute and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties from July 18 to December 22 in order to acquire basic archaeological knowledge and latest techniques. In October, two conservators from the Kabul National Museum will join the training course for the conservation of Buddhist manuscripts found from the Bamian caves; they will work with Japanese conservators.


Conservation training program for Iraqi experts (3)

The training of x-ray radiography for archaeological artifacts (at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties)

 The conservation training program, “Restoration of the Laboratories of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad,” a UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust project for Iraqi conservators from the Iraq National Museum, Baghdad, which was held for 3 months, was completed on December 12. The trainees visited Saitama Cultural Deposits Research Corporation on November 13 and 14 to see its conservation laboratory of archaeological artifacts, exhibition and storage rooms and to participate in the conservation work of pottery. From November 19 to December 3, they participated in a training program on the use of various apparatuses used in conservation, such as x-ray radiography, at the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. On December 10, they delivered a presentation on the current conditions of the Iraq National Museum, Baghdad, and local museums in Iraq, and their activities in the conservation laboratories as well as on the trainings in Japan. It is hoped that the 4 trainees will employ what they have acquired in the training to contribute to the conservation of cultural heritages


Conservation training program for Iraqi experts (2)

Cleaning an object after vacuum freeze drying method

 The four Iraq experts who arrived on 19 September, 2007 received several basic lectures on conservation science and practical training on conservation of wooden objects at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. They stayed in Tokyo from the end of September to the end of October and joined the practical training of conservation for waterlogged wooden objects from 29 October to 9 November at Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage.
 At Shizuoka, the Iraqi experts experienced lifting fragile wooden objects during archaeological excavations at Sumpu site. They also studied conservation methods such as stabilization using PEG and vacuum freeze-dry method, cleaning, adhesion, and filling at the Shimizu Office of the Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage.
 They will receive practical training on using various conservation equipments at the Institute in Nara. At the end of this training program, they will conduct a presentation of their works on 10 December, 2007 in Tokyo.


Conservation training program for Iraqi experts

Invited Iraqi experts

 Since 2004, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been conducting a training program for Iraqi experts to rehabilitate the conservation laboratories of the Iraq National Museum (INM). This program is a part of the Cooperation Project for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in West Asia and the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust project, Restoration of the Laboratories of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad.
 In 2007, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has invited four experts between 19 September and 12 December 2007: Ms Faeza M. Jumaah (INM), Ms Taghreed H. Khudhair (INM), Mr Sinan A. Yunis (Nineveh Museum), and Mr Jamal A. A. Ismael (Nasiriyah Museum). The program focuses on the conservation of wooden objects and is conducted at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, the Institute in Nara and Shizuoka Research Institute for Buried Cultural Heritage.


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