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


Workshop held on Conservation of Archaeological Metal Objects in the History Museum of Armenia

Conservation efforts underway
Exchange of opinions on conservation policies

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted a workshop on conservation of archaeological metal objects at the History Museum of Armenia from June 11 to 22, 2013. This project was a part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. The project is in its third year, and the workshop is the fourth to be held domestically.
 This workshop was an advanced course for conservators of archaeological metal objects, so Armenian experts were chosen from among personnel who had been attending previous workshops. In total, there were 4 attendees from the History Museum of Armenia and other institutions in Armenia. Based on the knowledge and skills they had gained over the past 2 years, Armenian experts participated in conservation work with Japanese experts. After surveys, which included photography and scientific analysis, and planning exhibition/conservation work, experts concluded the conservation work. This work helped to improve the knowledge and skills of Armenian experts.
 The next workshop will be on the topic of preventive conservation for exhibition and storing. Plans are to prepare objects for exhibition in the History Museum of Armenia next year.


The 2012 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage convened and the 12th seminar on “International Trends in Safeguarding Cultural Heritage Protection” was held

Keynote lecture

 The 2012 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was convened on March 15th. The Secretariat General reported on Consortium projects in 2012 and projects planned for the coming year. This was followed by the 12th Seminar, which started with a keynote lecture by Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Monuments Board, Ministry of Community, Culture, Youth and Sports, Singapore, entitled “International Cooperation-OMNI-Logue: Your voice is Mine.” Afterwards, four other lectures described recent trends in the safeguarding of cultural heritage with a focus on international conferences that mainly took place last year.
 FUTAGAMI Yoko, Head of the Research Information Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, described deliberations concerning inscription of sites in accordance with the World Heritage Convention. Ms. FUTAGAMI also described inscription of a Palestinian site on the World Heritage List. NISHIBAYASHI Masuo, Ambassador in charge of Cultural Exchange and Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs, reported on the Closing event of the World Heritage Convention 40th Anniversary celebrations, held in Kyoto last year, and one of its outcomes, named Kyoto Vision. Mr. NISHI Kazuhiko, Associate Specialist for Cultural Properties of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, provided an overview of events in Toyama and Himeji held in conjunction with the celebrations’ Closing event. Mr. NISHI also described the Toyama Proposal on Heritage and Sustainable Development and the Himeji Recommendations. MIYATA Shigeyuki, Director of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, reported on deliberations concerning inscription of files on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Mr. Miyata also mentioned recent remediation of the regional gap in inscriptions and conduct of the 7th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
 The topic of international trends in protecting cultural heritage is usually brought up at seminars annually and attendees always number more than 50 people. Information on recent trends is greatly needed. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage will continue its efforts to share information through seminars .


The Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia

A trainee cleaning a metal object

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has undertaken a four-year training project since 2011. As part of the project, a series of workshops will be held covering “documentation,” “excavations,” “conservation,” and “site management.”
 The fourth workshop, a “Training Workshop on Conservation of Archaeological Objects and Documentation of Excavated Objects,” was held jointly with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, the National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic from February 8 to 14, 2013. A total of eight young Kyrgyz trainees participated in the workshop.
 During the workshop, trainees received practical training in “pottery reconstruction,” “metal conservation,” and “pottery drawing” using archaeological objects that were excavated during the 3rd workshop in the summer of 2012.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation plans to conduct various workshops to protect cultural heritage in Central Asia next year as well.


Survey of the Philippines as a Partnering Country by the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage

Interview with members of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts
Interior of San Agustin Church, a World Heritage Site
Callao Cave on the northern part of the island of Luzon

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Myanmar from February 14th to the 25th. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in the Philippines by visiting sites firsthand and determining the Philippines’ specific requirements for cooperative efforts. Sites such as churches and houses from the Spanish colonial period as well as prehistoric shell mounds and rock art were visited along with museums and libraries. Survey members gathered information and interviewed relevant personnel.
 Results of the survey indicated that the public needs to be increasingly aware of the need to protect many historic buildings and archaeological sites as cultural heritage. That said, educational institutions involved in protecting cultural heritage are lagging, so personnel need to be promptly trained. Cooperation with local authorities is a key aspect of protecting cultural heritage, and provision of that protection depends on local politics.
 Interviews indicated that the Philippines wishes Japan to help foster academic cooperation between the countries and train Filipino personnel with an eye toward increased public awareness of cultural heritage and cooperation in Asia. Japan needs to capitalize on its previous cooperative efforts in Asia and provide support with an eye toward cooperation with other Asian countries. Such steps are essential to determining ways to protect the cultural heritage of the Philippines.
 The year 2013 is the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and Japan is expected to cooperate more with the region. In order to explore the nature of cooperation Japan can provide with regard to preserving cultural heritage, plans are to determine what support Japan can provide while continuing to gather information and coordinate with relevant institutions.


Agency for Cultural Affairs project to invite artists and experts in cultural properties from overseas welcomes a Deputy Minister of the Armenian Ministry of Culture and organizes a seminar

A presentation in the seminar (Deputy Minister Samuelyan at left)

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo invited to Japan Ms. Arev Samuelyan, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia, over the 10-day period from January 10 through January 18 2013, under the framework of an Agency for Cultural Affairs project to invite to Japan artists and experts in cultural properties from overseas.
 During the first half of her visit to Japan, the Deputy Minister Samuelyan energetically visited spots including the backyards and exhibits of the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum of Western Art as well as conservation sites of historic architectures in Kyoto and Nara, such as Kiyomizu-dera temple, exchanging opinions with experts. At a seminar on the subject of conservation of cultural properties in the Republic of Armenia and Japanese cooperation with such efforts held by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo on January 16, she presented on the current state of protection of cultural properties in Armenia. Representatives from Japan presented on the subjects of a survey report on the Republic of Armenia (by the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage), a project on human-resources development and technical transfer for conservation of archaeological metal objects under a framework of the program of “networking core centers for international cooperation on conservation of cultural heritage” funded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs (by the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation), propagation of Armenian architectures to other countries in the vicinity of Armenia, and a workshop on conservation of textiles at the History Museum of Armenia (by the Japan Foundation). The event provided excellent opportunities for networking among organizations and researchers related to Armenia as well as informing the general public about Japan’s cooperation in protecting Armenia’s cultural properties. In addition, on January 17 Ms. Samuelyan made a courtesy visit to Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Seiichi Kondo, expressing gratitude for Japan’s cooperation in conservation of cultural properties and asking for continued support in the future.
 This invitation served as an opportunity for building even closer ties in the existing cooperative relationship between the two countries as well as promoting cooperation and exchange projects between Japan and Armenia in a variety of fields, not just the protection of cultural properties.


Technical survey on safeguarding of cultural heritage in Myanmar: Field study mission dispatched

Taking measurements at a wooden temple
An example of a highly damaged temple building
Visiting a metal casting workshop
Survey at the National Museum in Yangon

 As part of the Project for International Contribution to Protection of Cultural Heritage (Experts’ Exchange) conducted by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo under commission by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, a mission of experts was dispatched to Myanmar from January 26 through February 3. This mission, made up of 17 members in total, comprised three teams to study the fields of architecture, arts and crafts, and archaeology, respectively. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo was responsible for the fields of architecture and arts and crafts, while the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties was responsible for archaeology. Intended to make clear future directions of action for cooperation provided by Japan to Myanmar in regard to safeguarding of cultural heritage, the survey was able to advance smoothly with the accompaniment and assistance of the responsible staff members from the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library of the Myanmar Ministry of Culture.
 Together with checking the state of damage and key factors affecting conservation of brick monuments in Bagan as well as wooden monasteric buildings in Mandalay and other areas, the architecture team’s activities also included interviews with concerned staff of local agencies and craftsmen, to identify issues related to future conservation and restoration. These activities revealed such as the fact that full-fledged structural repairs had not been conducted in a long time and activities such as keeping basic records concerning the state of conservation were not being conducted to a sufficient extent.
 The arts and crafts team conducted surveys and interviews on the state of conservation, storage and exhibition, as well as training of human resources involved in conservation and restoration, for mural paintings , metal objects, lacquerwares, and books and sacred documents. It did so by visiting national museums and libraries, temples, schools, and workshops in Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay. While they observed signs of the knowledge obtained through overseas training and other efforts being put to use in Myanmar, it also was clear that sufficient conservation and restoration measures were not being taken, due to shortages of materials and equipment and to underdevelopment of related systems.
 The mission also gathered basic information on Myanmar’s system for protection of cultural heritage through activities including meeting with the Ministry of Culture in the capital city of Naypyitaw. While it was clear that there were shortages in areas such as the technologies and human resources needed to conserve and restore cultural heritage in each field, the motivation of those in Myanmar to improve the situation was high, so that it is expected that technology transfer and human-resources development through projects such as joint research and training would be highly effective as assistance.


Seminar on bio-degradation of stone monuments in Cambodia, and training on site measurement

Seminat on conservation of stone monuments in Angkor
Second measurement training at the Ta Nei site

 Since 2001, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo has jointly conducted studies and research on conservation of cultural properties made of stone, with its main field being the Ta Nei site in Angkor, Cambodia, together with the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA). This seminar, with the participation of experts from Japan, Cambodia, Italy, and South Korea who had taken part in these studies, included presentations on subjects such as taxonomical research on lichens, quantitative and qualitative research on physical changes in stone materials, and research on the relationship between the environment and living organisms, as an overview of research that had been conducted up to that point to monitor and control the living organisms that flourish on stone surfaces. It also featured exchange of opinions on improving site conservation in the future.
 Also, the second training onarchitectural measurementwas held at the Ta Nei site from January 10 to 18. A total of 11 trainees, including two new participants from the APSARA, split into three teams to check the plans prepared in the first training in July of last year and to continue the measurement work using total stations, largely completing the plan of the central part of thetemple.
 Continuation of research cooperation, including transfer of technology and human-resources development are planned, while further studying how the results of these efforts can be put to use in conservation of Angkorsites.


Study of conservation of movable cultural properties in the United States

Materials from American institutions involved in conservation of cultural properties
The Freer Gallery of Art

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation carries out studies and research concerning the systems for conservation of cultural properties in each country around the world. As one such project, currently it is studying the state of conservation of movable cultural properties in the United States. While the U.S. is home to numerous museums of history and art and holds many of the world’s movable cultural properties, it has no government agency that specializes in the protection and management of cultural properties. Management of cultural properties is left to their owners, and management and regulation at the federal level is not very strong except in emergencies such as major natural disasters. Under these circumstances, management, restoration, and exhibition of moveable cultural properties in the U.S. is handled on an individual basis, in accordance with the management policies of each museum and with the wishes of the properties’ owners.
 While thinking on cultural properties differs considerably between Japan and the U.S., at the same time the U.S. is home to numerous art museums that hold collections of Japanese art. In addition, the Center’s Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas, begun in 1991, has restored more than 250 works of art at 24 art museums across the United States. Thus, the Center has close ties with American art museums. Accordingly, from January 26 through February 3, 2013 Tomoko EMURA and Asuka SAKAINO conducted a study in Washington, D.C. to ascertain in a systematic way the state of the conservation of movable cultural properties in the United States. They conducted a number of interviews focusing chiefly on key organizations conducting comprehensive activities to protect cultural properties, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior, the Library of Congress, the American Institute for Conservation (AIC)/Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC), the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the nonprofit Heritage Preservation. They also studied the state of management of the collections of history and art museums. In particular, they learned about the collection management rules and the state of restoration of works at the Freer Gallery of Art. America’s oldest national art museum, the Freer Gallery opened in 1923 and holds numerous works of art from East Asia, including Japan.
 This study showed that one of the reasons cultural properties in the U.S. are conserved appropriately despite the lack of strict regulations is because of cooperation among individual organizations and personnel along with effective functioning of bottom-up decision-making. Future plans call for advancing more practical study and research looking at the history museums playing central roles in each region of the U.S. and at museums holding works of Japanese art.


Symposium held on “Wandering Cultural Heritage: 10 Years of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property”

The symposium underway
A panel discussion
A speech by Massimiliano Quagliarella of Italy’s Carabinieri (national military police)

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage hosts a symposium each year for the general public. This year, the symposium was held at Heiseikan of the Tokyo National Museum on December 1, 2012. The symposium was entitled “Wandering Cultural Heritage: 10 Years of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property” (sponsor: Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan).
 This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Japan’s ratification of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The symposium introduced Japanese efforts to safeguard cultural properties from illegal exportation and importation pursuant to the Convention and the current state of those efforts, and also described efforts overseas.
 A report on Japan’s national efforts was given by SHIOKAWA Tatsuhiro, Director of the Office for International Cooperation on Cultural Properties, Agency for Cultural Affairs while a report on local efforts was given by Superintendent TSUJIMOTO Tadamasa, an officer of the Nara Prefectural Police Department who deals with crimes against cultural properties. Speaking on the current state of trafficking in cultural properties, KURITA Isao, an art dealer and owner of the Gandhara Antiques specialty shop, described the root of the problem of trafficking in cultural properties in countries where those properties are trafficked from. Foreign examples were described by a member of Italy’s Carabinieri (national military police), Massimiliano Quagliarella, Head of Operations, Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection. Quagliarella described safeguarding of cultural heritage by the Carabinieri as well as actual cases of art forgery and detection of illegal exports. Active discussions developed after all of the presentations, with panelists joined by IGARASHI Kazushige Deputy Director of the Enforcement Division, Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance.
 Although the problem of safeguarding cultural heritage is seldom brought up, this problem is actually a familiar one. Examining this problem, the symposium was well-received by members of the general public who were in attendance. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage will continue to make opportunities to further understanding for the general public about problems related to cultural heritage.


Myanmar’s cultural officers invited and seminar held

A meeting at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo

 As part of the Project for International Contribution in Protection of Cultural Heritage (experts’ exchange) commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, officers from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar were invited to visit Japan from December 10 to 14. Invitees were 5 Ministry personnel specializing in archaeology, conservation, cultural anthropology, and fine arts such as U Thein Lwin, Deputy Director General of the Ministry’s Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library. Invitees stayed in Tokyo and Nara, where they exchanged opinions with personnel at the Tokyo and the Nara Institutes, toured museums, and visited sites of archeological excavation as well as repair works of historical buildings. On December 11, a seminar entitled “Protection of Cultural Heritage in Myanmar: Current Situation and Issues” was held at the NRICPT’s seminar hall. Invitees delivered such presentations on archeological surveys, site preservation, and history and the current state of museums in Myanmar, sharing information by responding to questions from the audience. This invitation program provided the latest information on the protection of Myanmar’s cultural heritage and it fostered mutual understanding towards future cooperation. The same project plans to dispatch field study missions, in cooperation with the Nara Institute, in the 3 areas of architecture, art and crafts, and archaeology from the end of January to early February, in order to ascertain the direction of future Japanese cooperation in the protection of Myanmar’s cultural heritage.


11th Expert Working Group Meeting for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Property

A Meeting at the RWTH Aachen University

 In conjunction with UNESCO and research institutions from at home and abroad, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties have long labored to conserve cultural heritage in Afghanistan. Research institutions in different countries and Afghanistan have cooperated specifically to safeguard the Bamiyan Valley site, primarily via UNESCO/Japanese Funds-In-Trust projects for Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site. Safeguarding of the site is a key component of the Cooperative Projects for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in West Asia made possible by an Institute fund to cover operating expenses.
 An expert working group meeting is held annually to discuss guidelines for the preservation and use of the site. This year, the meeting was held in Aachen, Germany from December 10 to 11 under the joint auspices of UNESCO and the RWTH Aachen University. The meeting was attended by experts from Afghanistan, Germany, France, and Italy and from international bodies such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, and UNOPS. Japanese experts from the Institute, the Nara Institute, and Mukogawa Women’s University were also in attendance. In addition to the ongoing topics of conservation of wall paintings and preserving fragments of the Buddha statues, the meeting featured reports on the current state of ruins located throughout the valley and road and airport improvement plans. In addition, blueprints for an envisioned museum, facilitated by a research agreement between the Institute and Mukogawa Women’s University, were presented at the meeting. The meeting led to a practical discussion of both tourism development and long-term preservation of the site.


Survey of Japanese artworks in Armenia and Georgia

The History Museum of Armenia & the National Gallery of Armenia
Survey in the Georgian National Museum

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation surveys Japanese artworks in collections of art museums overseas and it provides those institutions with advice and information on relevant research. The Center also conducts cooperative conservation programs for artworks that urgently or desperately need to be conserved. In countries far removed from Japan where the climate, environment, racial makeup, and religion differ considerably, seeing the state of Japanese artworks instills in one the vitality of cultural properties, despite their fragile composition. In November 2012, KAWANOBE Wataru, KATO Masato, and EMURA Tomoko surveyed Japanese artworks in the Republic of Armenia and Georgia. Both countries were once part of the Soviet Union, and 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of their establishing diplomatic relations with Japan. However, this survey was the first on-site survey of Japanese art by personnel from the Institute.
 Japanese artworks in the History Museum of Armenia, the National Gallery of Armenia, and the Charents House-Museum were surveyed. These museums have ukiyo-e (woodblock) prints from the late Edo Period and early modern to modern craftworks. That said, some of the works are not properly identified since their title or date of production is unclear. The Center provided advice and information regarding these works. Additionally, the state of conservation of cultural properties in the Matenadaran (the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts) and the National Library was also studied.
 In Georgia, Japanese artworks primarily in the National Museum were surveyed. The National Museum has armaments from the Edo Period, such as armor and swords, as well as Japanese artworks like ukiyo-e paintings, pottery, and textiles. The museum was found to have 2 silk hanging scrolls, “Carps” by TACHIHARA Kyosho (1786–1840), a painter from the late Edo Period, and “Mt. Fuji” by TAKASHIMA Hokkai (1850–1931), a painter active during the Meiji Period. Both works have been damaged by time and need extensive restoration. The first step, however, is to gather detailed information about these artworks and then coordinate the future programs with the museum staff.


Workshops and International Seminar on the Conservation of Archaeological Metal Objects in the History Museum of Armenia

Practice during a domestic workshop
Practice during the international workshop
Exchange of opinions among participants in the international workshop practicum

 As part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency of Cultural Affairs, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted workshops on the conservation of archaeological metal objects in the History Museum of Armenia in November 2012 at the museum. The 3rd domestic workshop for Armenian experts was conducted November 6–17, and 8 of the participants had attended the previous workshop. Continuing from the previous workshop, the 3rd workshop expounded further on elemental analysis of metal surfaces using a handheld XRF analyzer following surface cleaning of archaeological metal objects to remove corrosion and deposit. Participants also practiced corrosion inhibiting, surface coating, adhering and filling defects. Participants learned techniques to treat materials in order to facilitate their conservation and display.
 An international workshop was held with 4 Armenian experts as well as 6 expert invitees concerning archaeological metal objects from 5 countries—Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Also giving presentations were Armenian archaeologists and scientists who study archeological metals in Armenia. Attendees gave presentations on the study of Armenian metal objects and on the current state of museums and conservation in their own countries. The workshop contributed to foster the exchange of information and establish wider networks.
 The next set of workshops will cover advanced cases. Plans are to summarize research on fabrication techniques and have participants use the conservation knowledge and skills they learned in previous workshops.


Support for documentation standards and procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia: specialist training workshop in the Republic of Tajikistan

Surveying at Hulbuk

 As part of the UNESCO-/Japan Funds-in Trust project titled as “Support for documentation standards and procedures of the Silk Roads World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination in Central Asia”, a specialist training workshop on archeological site documentation was conducted in Tajikistan from November 2nd to the 7th by Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Tajikistan and Historic-Cultural Reserve “Hulbuk”, Tajikistan. Within the framework, a series of specialist training workshops have thus far been conducted in other Central Asian countries, such as Kyrgyz and Kazakhstan. The workshop in Tajikistan focused on practical training of site documentation at the ruins of the medieval city of Hulbuk (9th-12th century AD), which is currently on the tentative lists of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In particular, on-site practical training of topographic survey and establishment of excavation grids as well as basic lectures on surveying were conducted, using total station that was supplied to the Tajik side from UNESCO. The six days short-term workshop was not always sufficient to obtain a mastery of the various survey skills, but attended ten Tajik participants made a serious effort to acquire the skills, using their own equipment. Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation will continue this supporting project for young Tajik experts in the next 2013 season.


Conservation of wall paintings from the early Islamic period excavated in southern Tajikistan

Fragments (partial) excavated at the Khulbuk site Left: before efforts Right: After surface cleaning and fragments were pieced back together
Backing work underway

 From November 6 to December 5, wall painting fragments in the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan were conserved on-site. The wall painting fragments that are being conserved were excavated in 1984 from the palace ruins at Khulbuk in southern Tajikistan. The Khulbuk site dates to the early Islamic period. The fragments have been kept in the repository of the National Museum of Antiquities but for a long time they were not properly conserved. Serious conservation efforts began in 2010.
 The wall painting fragments are extremely fragile. Pigments from multi-colored layers are merely resting on the fragments, and the plaster base coat has been severely fragmented. Following up on last year’s work to reinforce the multi-colored layers, work was done to stabilize assembled fragments by piecing them back together and attaching a new backing. Approaches such as filling in the gaps in fragments that were stabilized last year were tested with the goal of exhibiting the fragments in the future. The wall painting fragments are easier to appreciate once they have been stabilized and pieced back together with the gaps filled. Plans are to examine ways to exhibit the fragments in the future.
 This conservation project was undertaken with a Sumitomo Foundation grant for the preservation and conservation of foreign cultural properties.


Networking Core Centers Project for the Conservation of Traditional Buildings in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Observations of a rammed earth wall using a soil color chart
Measurement of micro-tremors at a rammed earth temple in the City of Thimphu

 For the second time this year, experts from Japan were dispatched to the Kingdom of Bhutan from November 21 to December 2 in order to survey on the conservation of rammed earth buildings in the country within the framework of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency of Cultural Affairs. The survey was conducted jointly with Bhutanese counterparts from the Division for Cultural Properties, Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs. Experts split into 2 groups to do the following works in the capital Thimphu and its suburbs:
 Architectural survey group: In order to reveal the traditional techniques of rammed earth construction, multiple craftsmen were interviewed, and reinforce techniques for damaged houses, temples, and ruins with rammed earth structures were inspected and surveyed.
 Structural survey group: In order to quantitatively assess the performance of structures with rammed earth walls, specimens that Bhutanese personnel had prepared ahead of time were subjected to compressive strength testing. Micro-tremors were also measured at 2 small temple buildings of rammed earth structure. Basic data were obtained for analysis of the structural properties of those buildings.
 In addition to the current surveys, a workshop was conducted with Bhutanese counterparts in order to share the results of previous surveys (including prior cooperative projects involving Japanese personnel), as well as to introduce Japanese experiences for the conservation of  traditional houses in Japan.
 Through such activities, the Core Centers Project seeks to explore prospects for appropriate conservation of traditional buildings and continuation of building techniques and deal with the issue of improved safety in the event of an earthquake. The project also seeks to train local personnel who are responsible for preserving cultural heritage. Hopes are to further enhance cooperation by transferring basic techniques through architectural surveys and structural analysis to eager Bhutanese personnel.


International training in Conservation of Japanese Paper in Latin America conducted

A demonstration of mending techniques
A presentation involving active use of Japanese mounting and repair techniques

 Training in the Conservation of Japanese Paper in Latin America was conducted jointly by the Institute, ICCROM, and INAH (Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History) as part of the ICCROM-LATAM Program (conservation of cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean). Training took place at the INAH from October 17th to 30th and was attended by 12 experts in restoring cultural properties from 9 countries: Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Argentina, and Mexico.
 Training sought to provide attendees with basic knowledge of traditional Japanese paper, adhesives, and tools. It also sought to enhance attendees’ understanding of Japanese mounting and repair techniques by having them practice reinforcing, mending, and attaching a backing using actual Japanese paper, adhesives, and tools. The first half of the training consisted of lectures by Japanese experts on materials and tools used in mounting and repair techniques and then practice by the attendees. In the latter half of the training, lecturers from Mexico, Spain, and Argentina with experience conserving works using mounting and repair techniques described how Japanese materials, tools, and techniques were actually used to restore cultural properties in Europe and the US, and then attendees practiced those techniques. Given the likelihood that Japanese mounting and repair techniques will be used to conserve cultural heritage in different countries, plans are to conduct similar training sessions in the future as well.


Lecture on Textile Conservation

Lecture by Ms. Ann French
A demonstration of textile storage

 On October 19, 2012, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation organized a lecture by Ms. Ann French, collections care manager and textiles conservator of the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester entitled “The Ancient, the Historic and the Contemporary: The Textile Collections of the Whitworth Art Gallery, and their Conservation.” Since its founding in 1889, the Art Gallery has amassed a host of textile objects ranging in date from the 3rd century AD Egypt to contemporary Japanese textiles. Ms. French described the Art Gallery’s textile collection as a reference for textile techniques and design. Ms. French cited examples of innovative methods of display and storage used to make the collection’s 20,000 textile pieces accessible to researchers as well as school children. Ms. French also answered questions about the conservation of Japanese kimono, fabric scraps, and paper patterns, which led to an active discussion with the audience. Despite the specialized nature of the lecture, many people attended. The Center hopes to continue such lectures to share information on the conservation of cultural heritage abroad.

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Supporting the Conservation Center of the Grand Egyptian Museum Project: Conducting training in chemistry for conservation materials

Practice textiles cleaning

 In the framework of the supporting project for the Conservation Center of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM-CC) by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo conducted training in chemistry for conservation materials for 10 Egyptian personnel of the GEM-CC in conjunction with JICA Tokyo. Trainees consisted of 8 conservators and 2 chemists in charge of analyses using scientific techniques. Training took place over 3 weeks from Aug. 31–Sept. 21. Trainees learned about the chemical and physical properties of materials used in conservation and they actually used these materials, providing them with firsthand knowledge of the characteristics of individual materials. This training further emphasized to the Egyptian trainees the importance of sharing information and evaluating materials so that appropriate conservation materials can be chosen. Hopes are to establish systems at the GEM-CC so that trainees can share this information among the staff and coordinate with one another.


International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper

Photo of assembled personnel following the opening session
Practical training (lining for handscrolls)

 Every year, the Institute conducts international training with ICCROM. In a typical year, there are around 70–80 applications. This year, that number was winnowed down to 10 trainees from the US, Italy, Egypt, Australia, Austria, Thailand, Colombia, Denmark, Poland, and Russia. The course lasted 3 weeks starting on Aug. 27th. The course focused particularly on Japanese paper and included classes from various perspectives such as materials science and history. During training, trainees mounted a paper-sheet cultural properties as handscrolls be steps such as infilling and lining, and they also prepared booklets with Japanese-style binding. Participants visited the Mino region in Gifu Prefecture, where a type of Japanese handmade paper that is used in restoration work is produced, and they also learned about the distribution of Japanese paper throughout history, from its manufacture to its transportation and sale. Participants also viewed the latest exhibits of cultural properties and conservation facilities at the Kyushu National Museum. Trainees visited a traditional mounting studio and stores selling traditional tools and materials in Kyoto, and they learned about circumstances involving the conservation and restoration of paper in Japan. The techniques and knowledge provided by this training will help encourage the conservation and exhibition of paper cultural properties from Japan in collections overseas and can also be used to conserve works abroad.


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