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


Symposium on “The Syrian Civil War and Cultural Heritage – The Actual State of the World Heritage Site at Palmyra and International Support for Its Reconstruction”

Artifacts in the Palmyra Museum destroyed by IS (photograph donated by Dr. Robert Zukowski)

 In the Middle Eastern country of Syria, a massive civil uprising calling for democratization occurred in March 2011 and developed into a civil war that has already lasted five years. Casualties in the nation have topped 250 thousand while more than 4.8 million citizens have fled the country as refugees.
 Because of this state of civil warfare in Syria, valuable cultural assets have suffered damage as well, which has been reported as major news stories internationally. Of particular note is that reports of damage wrought on Palmyra by Islamic State (IS) militants from August 2015 through October last year made headlines and drew public attention also in Japan.
 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP) cohosted the symposium titled “The Syrian Civil War and Cultural Heritage – The Actual State of the World Heritage Site at Palmyra and International Support for Its Reconstruction” with the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and the Cultural Heritage Protection Cooperation Office, Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO at the Tokyo National Museum and Todaiji Temple’s Kinsho Hall on November 20th and 23rd, 2016, respectively.
 The ruins of Palmyra had been controlled by the IS since May 2015 and they were recaptured by the Syrian government forces in March 2016. Polish and Syrian researchers conducted field surveys at the site in April. They recorded the state of damage wrought on the ruins in the region and the Palmyra Museum, and provided preliminary aid to damaged artifacts of the museum and transported them to Damascus promptly.
 At this symposium, Polish and Syrian researchers who witnessed the graphic situation at the site, experts from both home and abroad, and UNESCO staff got together and discussed what type of support would be effective with a view to reconstructing damaged cultural heritages in Syria, including the devastated ruins of Palmyra.


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.


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.


Workshops on the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects on Paper and Silk Held in Berlin

Lecture on handling a hanging scroll in Basic course
Practical work on restoration of a hanging scroll in Advanced course

 This workshop is held annually for the purpose of preservation and utilization of Japanese art objects such as calligraphic works and paintings overseas and developing understanding of these objects. In this year, it was conducted that Basic course “Japanese Paper and Silk Cultural Properties” from July 6th to 8th, 2016 and Advanced course “Restoration of Japanese Hanging Scrolls” from July 11th to 15th at the Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin (Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) with the support of Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum).
 In Basic course, there were 15 restorers, conservators and students from nine countries. This course includes lectures on the materials used for the art objects, such as paste, animal glue, mineral pigments and paper. Practical works on producing a calligraphic work and a painting, and handling hanging scrolls were also conducted. In Advanced course, nine restorers were attended from seven countries. This course is comprised mainly practical works about “soko” (restoration technique based on traditional mounting) which is selected as Techniques for the Preservation of Cultural Properties by Japanese government. The practical works such as removing and attaching the rods of a hanging scroll, and demonstrations by the instructors like lining presented knowledge and techniques of restoring hanging scrolls. Discussions were held in both courses. In addition to a question and answer session, opinions about restoration and applications of Japanese techniques and materials were exchanged.
 Similar projects will be implemented with the aim of contribution of the preservation and utilization of Japan’s tangible and intangible cultural properties overseas by sharing information about conservation materials and techniques in Japan with conservators overseas.


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.


Research on the Conservation and Management System of Wall Paintings in the Republic of Turkey

Meeting at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey
Inspection of wall paintings in a church in Ihlara Valley

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted a field survey from June 18th to 24th to understand the conservation and management system of wall paintings in the Republic of Turkey. In Ankara, we visited the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties, Faculty of Fine Arts, Gazi University, which has restored many wall paintings in the country, and listened to an explanation of methods of conservation and restoration that were actually used in each project. We then had a meeting with the officials including the deputy director of the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and agreed on the development of a cooperative system with the Center to further enhance maintenance and management of wall paintings in Turkey. In a courtesy visit to Hiroshi Oka, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to Turkey, we discussed topics such as the latest security situation and cultural policy in the country based on recent world affairs.
 As an inspection, we visited Kaman-Kalehöyük Archaeological Museum established with ODA from Japan, with guidance by Sachihiro Omura, Director of the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology, and studied the conservation state of the wall paintings in churches scattered across the Göreme district in Cappadocia and Ihlara Valley.
 We will continue to inspect the wall paintings in various locations in Turkey. At the same time, we are planning activities to educate conservation and restoration specialists in wall paintings and conservation and management workers who will lead operations in the future while learning about current maintenance and management of wall paintings in Turkey as well as finding room to improve and challenges to undertake.


A Mission for the project “Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal”

The presentation on the survey result at DoA
A survey on the salvaged members from Shiva Temple

 NRICPT has conducted a survey and assistance to protect the damaged cultural heritage by the Nepal Gorkha earthquake in 2015 since last fiscal year. This year, NRICPT was entrusted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs to conduct the programme “Networking Core Centres for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage” (Technical assistance for the protection of the damaged cultural heritage in Nepal) and dispatched personnel to the sites from April 28 to May 8.
 In this mission, we handed printed reports on the survey result conducted last fiscal year to the director general of the Department of Archeology (DoA) and made a presentation at the DoA office to around 30 members of the technical staff in Nepal and the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu. The Participants showed high expectation of our future technical assistance through asking questions actively after the meeting.
 Meanwhile, as a main survey, we conducted survey on identification of the original location and numbering of salvaged members from Shiva Temple, which collapsed by the earthquake in Hanumandhoka palace in Kathmandu. In addition, we implemented photo documentation of each member. Through this research on the members, we revealed that the temple underwent restoration over three times at least. In Nepal where there is scarce record on the past restoration work, we expect the data gained from these members to serve as valuable information for the future reconstruction planning.
 We will continue to conduct surveys on the traditional building construction methods, structure, urban design and intangible cultural heritage with the participation of external experts from various fields. While carrying out these local activities with Nepalese people, we are hoping to be able to transfer a wide array of technologies to them.
 For your information, the abovementioned report is available at the Institute’s website. Please, find the details at the following:
http://www.tobunken.go.jp/japanese/publication/pdf/Nepal_NRICPT_2016_ENG_s.pdf


Exhibition at the entrance lobby; Selected Conservation Techniques -techniques to conserve cultural properties using Urushi (lacquer)

Exhibition at the Lobby
Process for producing Urushi Kanna

 The entrance lobby of the Institute on the 1st floor is used to introduce the results of research and projects. This time, the survey by the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation is being publicized. The Center has conducted a survey on the Selected Conservation Techniques since 2014, in order to gather the information on each technique, its process, and the present problems. As a result of the survey, a calendar and a survey report have been published to share the information with the related organizations. This exhibition focuses on the Selected Conservation Techniques related to Urushi. Urushi trees used to be grown throughout Japan. However, as the amount of Urushi imported from overseas increased, the low price foreign Urushi spread out in Japan and today, the domestic Urushi accounts for only a few percent among all the Urushi distributed in Japan. In addition, since the whole Urushi industry declined due to the change of lives, the conservation and restoration of cultural properties using Urushi are facing a serious crisis. Makie, a decorative technique of Urushi, is an artifact that represents Japan, and there are a large number of Urushi objects kept in museums both within and outside Japan. We believe it is the duty of the Japanese to inherit the conservation and restoration techniques relating to Urushi. Today, several techniques related to Urushi are selected as the Selected Conservation Techniques by the Government; the technique to make the tools for tapping, the technique to tap the sap, the technique to refine the sap, the technique to make the filtrating paper and the technique to make the brushes for coating and Makie. The bearer or conservation body of each Technique is recognized under the Law. Every technique is highly specialized that needs to be surveyed and documented to disseminate information as well as to recognize the present issue on passing down these techniques. We hope this exhibition promotes the understanding of the techniques, materials and tools for the production and conservation of Urushi.


Investigation of Damaged Cultural Heritage in Nepal

Aganchen Temple of Hanumandhoka palace, Kathmandu
Sorting/storage work of architectural members collected from the collapsed Shiva Temple

 A team of experts was dispatched to Nepal on a further four occasions up to March 2016 for the Investigation of Damaged Cultural Heritage in Nepal, which was introduced in the last issue and was conducted under the Project for International Contribution to Cultural Heritage Protection, which was commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. The experts engaged mainly in the following activities.
Survey on Building Damage
 The experts checked the state of damage to traditional buildings centering on Dubar Square, which is part of the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley. Aganchen Temple (partially damaged) and the Shiva Temple (totally collapsed), both located inside Hanumandhoka Palace, were selected as the target of detailed surveys.
Survey on Traditional Building Techniques
 Among others, a survey was conducted on the distinctive traditional building techniques of the Newar culture, including building elements that had been revealed for the first time by the damage, such as the timber pillars concealed inside brick walls. Regarding Aganchen Temple in particular, the experts conducted measurement surveys, checked the state of damage in detail, and studied past alterations in order to assess the present situation and assist the restoration.
Building Structure Survey
 The experts conducted surveys mainly on two multi-tiered tower-style temples in the square, including measurements using a 3D laser scanner, a detailed investigation of the state of damage, and measurement of their vibration characteristics. Using a model compiled on the basis of the results, they carried out a structural analysis and examined the damage mechanism and other issues.

Emergency Protection Work
The team of experts sorted, stored, and documented architectural members retrieved from the collapsed building of the Shiva Temple and offered advice on work methods to personnel of Nepal’s Department of Archeology and other organizations. All of the components were arranged by type and stored in temporary shelters, and a survey was conducted on the state of damage to each part as well as on past modification of the building.

Survey on Historical Settlement
 The experts also visited the village of Khokana, which has an old townscape and is registered on the World Heritage Tentative List, investigating the state of damage, the transformation of housing up to the present, and the village’s intangible heritage value such as those of various cultural spaces. Here they carried out the survey in collaboration and cooperation with a local residents’ organization that is making strenuous effort both to reconstruct lives as quickly as possible and preserve the historical townscape.
 Meanwhile, three Nepalese engaged in the preservation of cultural heritage in the Nepalese government and the UNESCO office in Nepal were invited to Japan in February 2016 for the seminar on Cultural Heritage Damaged by the 2015 Nepal Gorkha Earthquake, which was held at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo on February 5th. At the seminar, the three Nepalese invitees gave presentations on the situation after the earthquake, restoration measures, and other issues, and then the Japanese experts participating in the project gave interim reports on survey results in their respective special fields. As difficult conditions continued to prevail in Nepal, the two sides were able to share the latest information and, through discussions, exchange opinions on how to respond to damaged cultural heritage and so on.
 Through such cooperation, we hope to continue providing appropriate assistance to Nepal’s efforts to restore damaged cultural heritage and transferring Japanese technology, such as survey methods for the repair of cultural properties.


Seminar on the Cultural Heritage Damaged by the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake with Invited Nepali Experts

Scene from the seminar
At the conservation site of Rinno-ji Temple in Nikko

 A seminar titled ‘Seminar on the Cultural Heritage Damaged by the 2015 Nepal (Gorkha )Earthquake’ was held on 5 February 2016 at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, to encourage information sharing between Nepal and Japan regarding the Gorkha Earthquake on 25 April 2015—the state of cultural heritage, activities performed to date, and future initiatives.
 This seminar was held as a part of the “Project for investigation of damage situation of cultural heritage in Nepal” in the frame of the Project for International Contribution to Cultural Heritage Protection (Expert exchange), which was entrusted to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Three guests were invited to the seminar: As representatives of the cultural heritage protection agencies of Nepal, the Director General of the DoA-Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (Bhesh Narayan Dahal); the Executive Director of HDMDC (Saraswati Singh) and the Culture Project Coordinator of the UNESCO-Kathmandu Office (Nabha Basnyat Thapa) were invited to attend. The seminar included presentations on post-earthquake conditions and recovery efforts by the Nepalese representatives and individual survey results by the Japanese project participants. While on-site conditions were still difficult, it was possible to exchange information and points of view through discussions regarding cultural heritage preservation measures.
 On the following day, seminar participants visited the repaired Sanbutsudo Hall of Rin’oji Temple and Yomeimon Gate in Nikko to provide the Nepalese representatives with a deeper understanding of historic building conservation techniques in Japan. They showed special interest in the conservation and repair of wooden members attacked by insects—a common issue in Nepal’s cultural heritage. Through explanations provided by experts in charge of the repair work and other participating Japanese experts, seminar participants were able to discuss, question and exchange opinions.
 We would like to further provide appropriate technical assistance through conducting continual survey in order to contribute to activities for rehabilitation of earthquake-damaged cultural heritages in Nepal.


A Survey of Japanese Paintings in the Indianapolis Museum of Art

A Survey at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

 A number of Japanese artworks can be found in European and American collections overseas. However, there are few conservators of these artworks overseas, and many of these works cannot be shown to the public since they have not been properly conserved. Thus the Institute conducts the Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas in order to properly conserve and exhibit these works. For three days from February 8th to 10th, 2016, EMURA Tomoko and ODA Momoko of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation visited and surveyed Japanese paintings in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Ms. YAMAMOTO Noriko, Executive Director of the Association for Conservation of National Treasures, participated in this survey. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, established in 1883, is one of the largest museums in the United States and has over 54000 artworks from all over the world. Together with the curator of Asian Art, Dr. John Tadao Teramoto, and the senior conservator of paper, Ms. Claire L. Hoevel, we conducted our survey of 7 works of Japanese painting (11 objects total) that have some condition problems. The information gleaned from this survey will be shared with the staff of the museum so that these works can be conserved and managed. The artworks will be assessed in terms of art history, and based on the results of the survey, works in need of urgent conservation will be identified and candidates will be selected for conservation under the cooperative program.


Survey and Training on Conservation of Mural Paintings at the ruins of a Brick-Built in Bagan (Myanmar)

Survey of conditions of roof damage at the brick-built ruin

 During a period from January 7th to January 18th at the Bagan Ruins in Myanmar, we conducted training on preservation/restoration of murals and temporary conservation work associated with the falling mural at No.1205 Temple within the Bagan Ruins. This was the last survey/training that was performed under the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project that had been entrusted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan.
 The training programs consisted of lectures on the mural pigment analysis with X-ray fluorescence analyzer, photographing the exteriors of the Temples using a UAV (Drone), and the 3D model production technique (SfM, Structure from Motion) using the pictures obtained, as well as the discussions held at the mural conservation work site. The training was attended by 4 expert staff members of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Bagan Branch and Mandalay Branch who were engaged in preservation and conservation of mural paintings and architecture. The attendees commented that they would like to use what they learned in the training also in other conservation projects and we also expect such future utilization. At one conservation work site where the survey team visited, the team saw that the particular method to adjust conservation materials that had been instructed in the past training was then in use and thus realized a favorable effect of the training. Further, with regard to the falling of the mural paintings at No.1205 Temple, all the temporary conservation works that had continued since 2014 were completed. Through the survey under this project, it was confirmed that roof leakage was one of the main factors that caused damages to mural paintings and the importance of taking appropriate measures against it was re-recognized. It is expected that the results of the survey and training under this project will continue to be utilized in mural paintings conservation in Bagan.


International Symposium “Cultural Heritage and Conflict: Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict”

Dr. H. O. Al-Mamori (General Director, Division of the Investigations and Excavations, the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Ministry of Culture of Iraq) speaking on the recent state of destroyed ruins in Iraq

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been making efforts to protect cultural heritage in danger under conflict or in post-conflict situations, including the activity for protecting the Bamyan ruins in Afghanistan. In recent years, there has been a lot of media coverage about destruction of cultural heritage in the countries under a civil war such as Syria and Iraq. In response to such situations, following the symposiums “Rebuilding in Syria and the Cultural Heritage” held in October 2013 and “Towards Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage” held in June 2014, the international symposium titled “Cultural Heritage and Conflict: Protection and Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-conflict” was held at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo on January 24th, 2016.
 This symposium welcomed experts who were working at protection of cultural heritage in Afghanistan and Iraq. They spoke to us on the cultural heritage protection activities implemented in their countries thus far, critical situations that they now face, and the international support required now and in the future. The activities to protect cultural heritage that have been conducted in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq by Japanese experts were also introduced.
 The symposium was attended by more than 100 participants and the contents of the presentations were reported by various mass media, reflecting a high interest among people in protecting cultural heritage under the conflict. The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation intends to continue its international contribution through various matters related to cultural heritage.


Investigation of Damaged Cultural Heritage in Nepal (2)

Survey on the extent of cultural heritage damage at Aganchen Temple, Hanumandhoka in Kathmandu
Workshop on management and documentation of timber members salvaged from a collapsed temple
Survey of disaster damage condition in Khokana

 A field survey was conducted in Nepal from 21 November to 8 December as a part of the “Japan’s International Contribution to Protection of Cultural Heritage” program commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. Based on results of the briefing survey that had been conducted in September on the disaster-affected cultural heritages in Kathmandu Valley of World Heritage, the survey this time conducted Kathmandu Durbar Square of World Heritage Site and Khokana Village that was listed on the Tentative List of World Heritage for its remaining historical townscape.
 In the Kathmandu Durbar Square, Traditional techniques of historic buildings team carried out a “survey on the extent of cultural heritage damage” and Structural engineer team carried out “3D measurement” and “micro-tremor measurement.” Further, as a part of emergency preservation measures, with regard to appropriate management and documentation of timber members salvaged from collapsed temples,. a workshop on the classification, recordkeeping, and storage methodology was conducted with local experts to transfer this technical knowledge.
 In Khokana, on the other hand, This comprehensive, in-depth survey considered the settlement space from a cultural perspective, the extent of cultural heritage damage, the historical development of urban typologies, structural impacts, including micro-tremor measurements, intangible heritage impacts, and water quality. In the case of a historical settlement that has been disaster stricken, people who are disaster victims tend to consider that “speedy reconstruction of their houses” and “inheritance of historical townscape” are two contradictory issues. In order to address this difficult challenge and contribute to developing the reconstruction plans, the survey was conducted by accurately gathering information from the perspective of cultural heritage in cooperation with Khokana Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Committee, an organization consisting of local residents who were highly-motivated to inherit their history.
We are planning to continue the survey and to feed back the fruit to the local stakeholders in a speedy manner.


Production of 2016 calendar: Traditional Japanese Technique to Conserve Cultural Properties

2016 desk calendar (Front page)
2016 wall calendar (January page “Metal ornaments”)

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been carrying out surveys of the selected preservation techniques that are indispensable for preservation of cultural properties. In this endeavor, a hearing survey on working processes, situation surrounding the work, and work-related social environment has been conducted targeting possessors and possessing groups of the selected preservation techniques and also photographing/recording of actual work sites and tools used for the work have been promoted. As a part of efforts to disclose the result of and disseminate information about this survey, the 2016 calendar for overseas was produced (available in two types: desk calendar and wall calendar). This calendar is titled “Traditional Japanese Technique to Conserve Cultural Properties,” in which, based on the surveys that were carried out in FY2014 and FY2015, the following production techniques were introduced; metal ornaments, Tatara Iron Works, Japanese swords, ridge-end tiles, cypress bark roofs, handmade ramie threads, original yarns for Japanese musical instrument, Showa Village Karamushi-ori (ramie weaving), bark of hemp stalks, lacquer-tapping tools, Assam indigo, and shuttles for weaving. All the pictures were taken by Seiji SHIRONO who is a specialist staff member of the Institute’s Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems. In the pictures, the right moment to clearly show the characteristics of the material and technique has been captured, producing optimal optical effects. The explanatory texts are written both in English and in Japanese. Copies of the calendar are delivered to foreign government ministries/agencies concerned with cultural properties in hopes to further deepen understanding among overseas people of Japanese culture and techniques to conserve cultural properties.


International Course 2015 on Conservation of Paper in Latin America

Demonstration of lining with Japanese paper at practical session

 From November 4 to 20, 2015, the International Course on Conservation of Paper in Latin America was conducted as part of the LATAM program of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). The course was jointly organized by NRICPT, ICCROM, and Mexico’s Coordinación Nacional de Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (CNCPC-INAH). It was held at CNCPC-INAH and this year was the fourth time.
 There were 9 participants who are experts of conservation for cultural properties and hailed from 8 countries of Portugal, Belize, Chile, Columbia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela. The first half of the course was conducted by NRICPT. It was aimed to apply the paper conservation techniques of Japan to cultural properties overseas. Providing the lectures on the protection on cultural properties in Japan as well as the materials such as Japanese paper and adhesive, basic knowledge of the traditional mounting and restoration techniques, the practical session was implemented. The practical session was supported by the staff member of CNCPC-INAH, who had learned the traditional mounting and restoration techniques at NPICPT for several months as part of the program. Following the demonstration by the Japanese instructor, the participants experienced the basic of the traditional mounting and restoration techniques, such as cooking paste, cleaning, infill, lining and drying with karibari. In the last half of the course, the experts of conservation of cultural properties in Mexico, Spain and Argentina conducted lectures on the application of Japanese paper to the conservation in the west and so forth. Through such technical exchange, the plans are to conduct similar training sessions in the future as well in order to deepen understanding of the conservation techniques of Japan and contribute to protection of the cultural properties overseas.


Seminar: “Technical Issues and Prospects on the Preservation of Historical Sites in Southeast Asia”

General Discussion

Inviting experts involved in the preservation and restoration of archeological and architectural heritage from five countries in Southeast Asia, the above seminar was held at our seminar room on November 13. After the experts presented their diverse technical challenges over the preservation of historical monuments or sites s in their countries, we exchanged opinions on the possibilities of new collaboration. Indonesia and Thailand, which have many practical cases on the maintenance of monuments and sites , and Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, which have been introducing new technologies particularly in recent years, presented their concrete cases. This was a good opportunity for us to get a wide overview of the current state of protecting cultural properties in historical sites and monuments, museums, and so forth.
 We invited Mr. Hubertus Sadirin (Advisory Expert Board on Cultural Property for the Governor of Local Government of DKI ) from Indonesia, Mr. Vasu Poshyanandana (Senior Architect of the Office of Architecture, Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture and Secretary-General of ICOMOS Thailand) from Thailand, Mr. An Sopheap (Head of Office of Archeology, Department of Conservation of Monuments inside Angkor Park and Archaeology Preventive, APSARA National Authority) from Cambodia, Ms. Le Thi Lien (Senior Researcher of the Institute of Archaeology of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) from Vietnam, and Mr. Thein Lwin (Deputy Director General of Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Ministry of Culture) from Myanmar.
 At the comprehensive discussion, active dialogue was undertaken over how to preserve unearthed remnants of ancient buildings, consistency between new and old materials used for restoration, quake-resistant measures for structures, balance between tangible and intangible values in conservation, issues on management systems and HR, etc. These tropical or semitropical countries have many similarities not only in their climatic environments, but also in challenges on factors of and countermeasures to material deterioration. This meeting worked as a good opportunity for them to reconfirm the continual information sharing and cooperation toward the further collaboration within and outside the region. Communicating with these countries closely, we would like to clarify their support needs and consider more effective approaches for cooperation.


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