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

28th General Assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties (ICCROM)

Deliberations at the General Assembly meeting

 From November 27 to 29, 2013, Director General KAMEI Nobuo, KAWANOBE Wataru, and SAKAINO Asuka of the Institute attended the 28th General Assembly of ICCROM in Rome, Italy. The decision to found ICCROM was made at the 9th UNESCO General Conference in 1956. This intergovernmental organization has been headquartered in Rome since 1959. ICCROM works to conserve a wide range of cultural heritage, both movable and immovable. The Institute has specifically helped with these efforts by conducting training in the conservation of paper and laquerware.
 The General Assembly meets biennially. At this meeting of the General Assembly, 13 new members of ICCROM’s Council were elected to replace members who had completed their terms. Serving Council members from 12 countries (United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Canada, South Korea, Greece, Guatemala, Sweden, China, Tunisia, Japan, Brazil, and France) have been joined by newly elected Council members from the US, India, Egypt, Switzerland, Sudan, Spain, Tanzania, Chile, Germany, Bahrain, the Philippines, Belgium, and Mexico. The meeting of the General Assembly also reiterated to Member States the need for ICCROM to improve its finances. Japan’s monetary contribution is second only to that of the US, and Japan is cognizant of the severity of this problem. Hopes are that the new Council will consider specific approaches so that ICCROM can continue its activities in the future.

Conservation of the Early Islamic Wall Painting Excavated in the Republic of Tajikistan

Checking the fractured shapes of the wall painting fragments (excavated at the Khulbuk site in Tajikistan)

 From September 19th to October 14th, conservation works were conducted at the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan to the wall painting fragments excavated from the Khulbuk site. These wall painting fragments are assumed to have been produced in the early Islamic period. Since a limited number of wall paintings of this era have been found, this wall painting is very important from historical and art historical points of view in Tajikistan. NRICPT has been earnestly conserving the wall painting fragments since 2010.
 The wall paintings were excavated in fragments. When conservation work initially began, paint layers and the white plaster layer as a ground were extremely fragile. In the previous projects, the work such as consolidating the paint layers, jointing broken fragments together, and attaching a new backing had been carried out. This year, artificial renders imitating earthen plaster were applied on the backs of wall painting fragments for further stabilization.
 By this operation, the fragments in the various thicknesses were standardized to the same thickness, and it allowed the surface height of the fragment consistent for exhibition. Moreover, the defective and joint parts of fragments were filled with gypsum-based grout. The filling surface of the fragments was painted regarding the color balance of the whole painting which consequently made the image easier to see. In the future, plans are to explore ways to safely exhibit the fragments at the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan.
 Part of this conservation project was undertaken with a Sumitomo Foundation Grant for the Preservation and Conservation of Foreign Cultural Properties.

‘Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site’ project: The 11th mission

Buddhist cave discovered in the Foladi Valley

 Since 2003, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has conducted the ‘Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site’ project in close cooperation with the Ministry of Information and Culture, Afghanistan and Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Japan. Our mission was on hold for three years after 2010 due to security issues in Afghanistan, but a short-term 11th mission was finally dispatched from September 28th to October 6th of this year.
 This mission sought to compensate for the 3-year hiatus by confirming the current state of cultural heritage and landscape in the region. This work involved five activities. First, the state of the Buddhist caves and mural paintings was surveyed. Second, environmental data from the past few years, including meteorological data from the Bamiyan Valley and temperature and humidity data from the caves, were collected. Third, general surveys of archaeological sites in the Bamiyan and Foladi Valleys were conducted. A survey of the Foladi Valley revealed a new Buddhist cave that might date to the latter half of the 6th century AD. Fourth, basic information on the landscape at a planned museum construction site was collected. The site is to be the home of a new Bamiyan museum constructed with the help of Mukogawa Women’s University, Japan. Fifth and finally, lectures on the history and culture of the Bamiyan site and previous conservation activities at the site were conducted for students of Bamiyan University, attracting a considerable number of attendees.
 The one-week mission yielded limited results, but the fundamental data obtained will serve as the basis for a research plan for the next mission. In addition, the considerable interest of students in the Bamiyan site promises the appearance of a new generation of ‘guardians’ of cultural heritage in Afghanistan.

Field survey on safeguarding Myanmar’s cultural heritage

Pagoda No. 1205
Setup of meteorological equipment

 As part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo conducted a survey on safeguarding Myanmar’s cultural heritage in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar from October 23rd to November 1st. Among the art and craft works in Myanmar, the mission surveyed temple mural paintings and lacquerware. Institute personnel were accompanied and assisted by personnel from the Department of Archaeology, National Museum, and Library of Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture and university staff.
 During a survey of temple mural paintings in Bagan, mural paintings in a hall in pagoda No.1205, a Buddhist monument scheduled for surveying and conservation by Japan and Myanmar, were imaged and the state of damage to those paintings was surveyed. In addition, humidity and temperature recorders were set up inside and outside the hall at pagoda No. 1205 for environmental monitoring to ascertain meteorological conditions that might cause the mural paintings to deteriorate.
 Meteorological equipment was also set up at the site of the Bagan Branch of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum, and Library of Myanmar’s Ministry of Culture. In the future, plans are to collect and analyze data and devise policies for conservation of mural paintings in concert with personnel from the Bagan Branch of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum, and Library.
 During a survey of lacquerware in Mandalay, studios making items such as kamawaza (religious texts drew on lacquer) , glass mosaics, dry lacquerware, and begging bowls (used by priests to collect alms) were visited to observe the techniques and materials currently used to produce lacquerware in Myanmar and interview craftsmen. In Bagan, raw materials for bamboo crafts were studied and all of the ancient lacquerware in the museum of the Bagan College of Lacquerware Technology was surveyed. Plans are to continue conducting similar surveys in the future.

Symposium “Syria’s Recovery and Its Cultural Heritage”

Presentation given by Dr. Youssef KANJOU

 Pro-democracy movements in the Middle East that originated from the Arab Spring have caused major changes in the Arab world. A large-scale democracy movement began in Syria in April 2011, and where this swell will lead is not known. The nation is currently in a de facto state of civil war. Syria has already experienced over 100,000 deaths, and many citizens have been forced to flee. Opposition is growing as Syrians flee to neighboring countries, and there appears to be no end in sight to the conflict.
 As the civil war unfolds, the destruction of cultural heritage has again captured headlines around the world. Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, is renowned as an ancient capital with scenic views, but the city has been home to severe fighting during the war. Cultural heritage is at great risk, as evinced by the burning of historical souqs (markets or bazaars) that led the city to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site and destruction of the much of the Ancient City of Aleppo. In light of continued fighting, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee placed all 6 of the World Heritage sites in Syria on the List of World Heritage in Danger on June 20, 2013.
 In light of these circumstances, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo hosted a symposium on “Syria’s Recovery and Its Cultural Heritage” on October 31st with the backing of the Japanese Society for West Asian Archaeology.
 During the symposium, presentations were given by 9 experts, including Dr. Youssef KANJOU, the current Director of Antiquities and Museums of Aleppo. Presentations covered the Current State and Future Direction of the Syrian Civil War, Syria’s History and Cultural Heritage, the Extent of Destruction of Cultural Heritage by the Syrian Civil War, and Restoration of Cultural Heritage and National Recovery. A panel discussion followed the presentations, where the topic of What Should Be Done to Restore Syria’s Cultural Heritage Now and in the Future was actively discussed.

Symposium held on“Future of the World Heritage – Preservation of the World Heritage and Japanese International Cooperation.”

Keynote lecture by Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre
The symposium underway
Panel Discussion

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (“JCIC-Heritage”) hosts a symposium each year for the general public. This year, the Symposium was held in the U Thant International Conference Hall of the United Nations University on October 26, 2013. The Symposium was entitled the “Future of the World Heritage – Preservation of the World Heritage and Japanese International Cooperation” (sponsors: JCIC-Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan).
 In recent years, interest in World Heritage has grown. Japan is increasingly expected to internationally cooperate in safeguarding cultural heritage in order to safeguard World Heritage around the globe. This symposium described Japan’s international cooperation with regard to World Heritage sites such as Angkor in Cambodia and Bamiyan in Afghanistan. In addition, Japanese experts who have worked at those sites reported various issues faced by each of those World Heritage sites. The symposium was home to a discussion of the future forms of Japan’s international cooperation.
 The keynote lecture was given by Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. He described the issues with and prospects for safeguarding cultural heritage via the credible international framework provided by the World Heritage Convention over the past 40 years.
 Instances of safeguarding cultural heritage and international cooperation around the world were reported. A report on Cambodia was given by ISHIZAWA Yoshiaki, chairperson of JCIC-Heritage, a report on Honduras was given by TERASAKI Shuichiro, a member of the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, a report on Egypt was given by KONDO Jiro, a member of the West Asia Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, and a report on Afghanistan was given by MAEDA Kosaku, vice-chairperson of JCIC-Heritage.
 SEKI Yuji, chairperson of the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, moderated a panel discussion after the reports. An active discussion developed regarding the strengths of and future issues with Japan’s international cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage around the world.
 This symposium included many reports on Japan’s international cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage and was well-received by attendees in a wider age range than usual. JCIC-Heritage will continue to create opportunities to encourage more members of the general public to take an interest in problems related to safeguarding cultural heritage.

UNESCO Japanese Fund-in Trust Project “Preservation of the Cultural Heritage Complex of Thang Long, Hanoi”

Checking a control point in the GIS training workshop
Example of a survey drawing of colonial architecture
Symposium on overall achievements of the project

 A project to preserve the Thang Long Imperial Citadel site, a World Cultural Heritage located in the heart of Vietnam’s capital city, has been undertaken by the NRICPT, commissioned by the UNESCO Office in Hanoi to spearhead Japanese efforts, since 2010. The project is scheduled to conclude at the end of this year. The following efforts were undertaken at the site since the latter half of last year.

a) GIS training workshops (December 27-28, 2012, May 15–18, 2013, September 10, 2013)
 Selected staff of the Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre received training from both Japanese and Vietnamese experts to establish a geographic information system (GIS) to manage cultural properties. Attendees learned various topics including basic concepts of using a GIS to manage cultural properties, correcting the base map using measurement points on-site, and ways to create a data base. This training has allowed staff to conduct basic operations themselves.

b) The second workshop on archaeological artifacts (January 23–24, 2013)
 A workshop was co-organized by the NRICPT and the TL Centre in cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology, Imperial City Research Center, and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. The workshop focused on the study of ancient roofing techniques by comparing roof tiles unearthed from the site with those found in Japan. Experts from both countries exchanged their knowledge and opinions, and they also visited excavations at the ancient temple and traces of ceramic kilns.

c) Workshop on sociological assessment (March 4, 2013)
 A workshop on socio-economical assessment of the value of the Thang Long site was co-organized by the NRICPT with the TL Centre and Institute of Vietnamese Studies and Development Sciences, Hanoi National University (IVIDES). Experts from both countries gave presentations based on survey results and interviews with relevant individuals. The experts actively discussed their views on the future use of the site.

d) Survey of buildings from the colonial period (May 20–24, 2013)
 Historical military buildings that were built during French colonial rule at the Thang Long site were surveyed with the TL Centre staff. Together, a new survey and supplementary surveys surveyed 7 buildings in order to prepare accurate documentation of the current status of these buildings, which have value as cultural properties, as basic data for management of cultural properties. Plans are to publish survey drawings, including those of 10 previously surveyed buildings, and to offer the digital data to the TL Centre.

e) Field study on the preservation of excavated remains (August 8–9, 2013)
 At the excavation site, monitoring data were collected from sensors that have measured moisture migration in the soil where archaeological remains are located. Preserved bricks that had been subjected to an outdoor exposure test were also recovered for analysis of the test results. In addition, local staff members were given lectures on the use of equipment and materials and methods of data analysis to enable them to make similar measurements even though the current project has concluded.

f) Symposium on overall achievements of the project (September 11–12, 2013)
 A symposium was held to bring together experts in charge of different portions of the project and other relevant personnel. The symposium served as a forum to summarize achievements of the project thus far and to exchange opinions on issues with an eye towards the future. Nine presentations were made in this two-day symposium with more than 60 participants from both countries and the UNESCO Office in Hanoi. The symposium, which was also one of the events to commemorate 2013 as the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Year, allowed participants to reaffirm the significance of the site in different terms and to sense the extensive achievements of the project firsthand, including studies on appropriate conservation efforts, planning site management, and teaching and training personnel to create a system to preserve and manage the Thang Long site. Japanese personnel are currently working, together with their Vietnamese counterparts, to publish a final project report by the end of the year.

The Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project: Training Workshop for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Central Asia

Excavation practice at the Ak Besim site

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation (JCICC) has been commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan to conduct training regarding the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Central Asia since 2011. To that end, the JCICC has conducted a series of training workshops on Documentation, Excavations, Conservation, and Site Management in the Kyrgyz Republic and elsewhere in Central Asia.
 The fifth workshop, a Training Workshop on Excavation of Ruins, Conservation of Unearthed Objects, and Site Management, was conducted jointly with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of the National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic over a 17-day period from August 27th to September 12th. 
 During the workshop, trainees actually practiced excavation at the site of the medieval fortified town of Ak Besim. Trainees also practiced collecting fragile artifacts and removing soil layers. Lectures on site management were also given, and site management was planned with Ak Besim in mind.
 The fifth workshop was attended by 14 young experts, including 8 experts from the Kyrgyz Republic, 1 expert from Armenia, 1 from Turkmenistan, 1 from Kazakhstan, and 1 from Tajikistan, and 2 experts from Afghanistan.
 The JCICC plans to conduct various training workshops to safeguard the cultural heritage of Central Asia in the future as well.

International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper

Demonstration of lining

 International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper was conducted from August 26th to September 13th by ICCROM and the Institute. Approximately 60 individuals who work with cultural properties applied from around the world. Of these, 10 individuals from the USA, UAE, Germany, Canada, Australia, UK, Malaysia, Switzerland, Bolivia, and Guatemala were selected to attend. The course focused on Japanese paper and included classes from perspectives ranging from materials science to history. In practical sessions, participants made infillings of missing portions, attached linings, attached rods, and mounted a work to a hanging scroll. They also attempted Japanese-style book binding. During this training, 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 visited a town where traditional buildings are being conserved. Participants also visited traditional mounting studios and stores that make traditional tools and materials to learn about aspects relating to conservation of Japanese paper. The techniques and knowledge provided by this course will help encourage the conservation, restoration, and exhibition of Japanese paper cultural properties in collections overseas and can also be used to conserve and restore works made outside Japan.

Cooperation with JICA’s Project for the Conservation Centre of the Grand Egyptian Museum―A Training Course on Textile Conservation―

Practice of dyeing

 As part of JICA’s (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Project for cooperation with the Conservation Centre of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM-CC), a training course on textile conservation was conducted at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT). The course was attended by 8 Egyptian trainees from the GEM-CC: 5 conservators of organic artifacts such as textiles, 1 curator who is in charge of storage, and 2 scientists who oversee instrumental analysis. Dr. Ishii Mie, a textile conservator and a visiting researcher from the NRICPT, led the training course as a head instructor for 2 weeks from September 2nd to 13th.
 During the training, trainees learned about the mechanisms of synthetic dyes, dye discoloration by light, and color fastness tests in cooperation with Dr. Asakura Mamoru of the Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Technology Research Institute. Dr. Fujisawa Akira, an associate fellow of the NRICPT specializing in conservation science, instructed trainees in methods of materials testing and gave them the opportunity to practice those methods. Trainees practiced dyeing and making mounts for use in display. In addition, trainees also inspected storerooms and they viewed conservation underway in museums.
 The course sought to encourage an understanding of the importance of individuals in different areas, such as conservators, curators, and scientists, working in concert, performing analysis and evaluation, and exchanging opinions. Trainees gained a lot of knowledge and experience in a short period of time.
 This project seeks to foster and enhance cooperation among staff of the GEM-CC so that what is taught in training courses can spread and raise the standard of the museum as a whole. This is achieved by having trainees describe and teach what they have experienced and learned to their colleagues.

The 13th seminar on “Developing a New Partnership for a Comprehensive Approach to International Cooperation for Cultural Heritage Protection” was held.

Panel Discussion

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage) held its 13th Seminar, “Developing a new partnership for a comprehensive approach to international cooperation for cultural heritage protection” on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at the Independent Administrative Institution National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Efforts by private organizations to protect cultural heritage have increasingly garnered public attention, but there are few opportunities to hear and discuss the principles and objectives of those organizations. Given this situation, JCIC-Heritage recognized the need to consider cooperation with various private organizations and the need to discern their efforts in different academic disciplines, thus leading JCIC-Heritage to hold this Seminar.
 OGIWARA Yasuko , Executive Secretary of the Kigyo Mécénat Kyogikai (KMK, Association for Corporate Support of the Arts), started the seminar with a lecture entitled “Corporate Support of Art and Culture: Its Varied Forms and Current State” that focused on a review of activities by the Mécénat in which their corporate members played a central role. Ms. Ogiwara also analyzed the current state of those activities and she described recent changes and the potential for future activities by the Mécénat.
 HIRAO Kashuku , the head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co., Ltd., gave a lecture entitled “Art Conservation Projects by Bank of America Merrill Lynch .” Ms. Hirao described projects to protect cultural properties implemented with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum. She also explained the significance and objectives of CSR activities by companies and the ripple effects of projects resulting from partnerships.
 MINO Yasuhisa , Executive Director at the Sumitomo Foundation, gave a lecture entitled “Grants from the Sumitomo Foundation for Projects to Protect, Restore, and Preserve Cultural Properties.” Mr. Mino described the background for the Foundation’s establishment, its characteristics, and his experience with grants for projects to protect cultural heritage over the past 20 years.
 SHIMA Nobuhiko, a journalist, moderated a panel discussion including all of the speakers as well as KOMIYA Hiroshi , Senior director at the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research. This discussion provided an opportunity to consider future actors working to protect cultural heritage. A wide range of topics was discussed, including the difficulties of continuing projects and their importance, economic conditions and the nature of support, partnerships formed by project participants, and leadership needed to manage projects.

3rd Training Course in Architectural Surveying at the Temple of Ta Nei in Angkor, Cambodia

A topographical survey underway at the temple site
Combining a contour map and a survey map of architectural remains

 The 3rd training course in architectural surveying was conducted over a 2 week-period from July 22 to August 2 at the temple of Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia. This training is planning for younger staff members of the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (ASPARA), the National Authority for Preah Vihear (NAPV), and JAPAN-APSARA Safeguarding Angkor (JASA, a team combining the Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor and the ASPARA), which are all responsible for managing ancient monuments in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The participants are specialists in architecture and archaeology, and in this 3rd course nine trainees including 1 new staff participated.
 As we finished recording the temple layout within the first and second enclosure walls by the previous courses, the 3rd course began with a traverse survey for making reference points to measure architectural remains and topography within the third enclosure wall. By using these points as reference also for a topographical survey that included the third enclosure wall with the east and west gopuras and the moat outside of the second enclosure wall. The trainees were divided into 2 groups to conduct the survey, and in the end, all of them could create a contour map and a 3D model of the area within the third enclosure wall by using these measuring data. The trainees appeared to be highly motivated to take on challenges: as the trainees who had attended the previous courses had almost mastered basic steps in surveying architectural remains and plotting, they could teach to their fellow trainees even when they encountered something they did not know. In addition, on the final day of the course, all of the trainees gave presentations on the topic of surveying and drawing of architectural remains for the conservation, describing their own part in site work and exchanging opinions on the prospects for the future.
 This training course is not simply to provide technical methods in archaeological surveying from Japan to Cambodia. Rather, the course has also steadily encouraged exchanges among Cambodian trainees themselves. We continue the cooperative projects with the hope that younger personnel who will be responsible for the future of sites in Cambodia grow through such efforts.

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

Extracting core samples from a test specimen made of rammed earth
Interview with craftsmen at Yuta Goempa

 Commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, this project aims to understand and preserve construction techniques used to build traditional buildings in Bhutan in particularly rammed earth houses and temples, and to assess and improve their earthquake-proofing and safety. The project began last year with the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites, Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Bhutan, as a counterpart, with whom the Japanese experts have jointly studied and tested on building techniques, structures and materials undertaking in such a way research exchanges and human resource development.
 The first field survey this year was conducted from June 21 to July 3 involving 9 experts from Japan. Test specimens of rammed earth for materials strength tests were prepared using traditional construction techniques, as well as construction studies and micro-tremors measurement were conducted at several temples, houses and ruins in the districts of Thimphu, Wangdue Phodrang and Paro. In addition, the experts visited a rammed earth temple damaged by the last earthquake being restored, and sites where rammed earth residences are being constructed. Through interviews with craftsmen, the experts gathered information on the current state of restoration of heritage buildings and construction techniques.
 Over the past few years, such traditional buildings have rapidly disappeared from the capital of Thimphu. However, the survey also revealed that some Bhutanese wish to somehow pass on the techniques they have inherited from their forefathers to future generations. We hope to continue providing technical support and conducting personnel exchanges so that Bhutan can properly preserve those techniques, which represent part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Workshop on the “Conservation of Japanese Paper and Silk Cultural Properties”

Practice with a Japanese calligraphic work during the basic course
Making a folding screen during the advanced course

 This workshop is held annually as a part of the Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas. This year, it was held at the Asian Art Museum, National Museums in Berlin, with the basic course, “Japanese paper and silk cultural properties,” from July 3rd through the 5th, and with the applied course, “Restoration of Japanese folding screens,” from July 8th through the 12th.
 The basic course covered the process from production of a cultural property to its appearance before the public, i.e. its creation, mounting, exhibition, and viewing. Lectures, demonstrations, and training were conducted regarding materials such as paper, pigments, paste, and animal glue, techniques of creating Japanese paintings and calligraphy, aspects of mounting, and handling of cultural properties.
 The applied course included a workshop primarily on practice restoring a folding screen using traditional conservation techniques. Attendees actually produced wooden lattice undercores, which are then covered with multiple layers of paper to create a folding screen, and paper hinges that join panels of the folding screen.
 This workshop seeks to offer the opportunity to understand Japanese tangible cultural properties such as paintings and calligraphic works to thus broaden understanding of intangible cultural properties as well, such as papermaking and mounting, among as many foreign conservators as possible.

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.

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