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


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

On-site excavation training

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation has been conducting a four-year training program in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2011 to protect Central Asian cultural heritage. This program was commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, and plans are to hold a series of workshops covering documentation, excavations, conservation, and site management.
 This year, the third workshop was held from September 1 to 17. The main topics of the workshop were “archaeological excavations” and “conservation of archaeological objects.” The workshop was organized jointly with the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic. A total of 14 trainees participated in the workshop. They came from Kyrgyz, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. Trainees excavated the site at Ak Beshim with trainers and studied the basic methods of excavations and conservation of archaeological objects on-site.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation plans to organize training workshops next year as well.


Project to Support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Road: Training Workshops in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic

Geophysical survey training
On-site training using a Total Station

 Currently, five Central Asian countries and China are undertaking various activities to facilitate the serial nomination of historical sites along the Silk Road for inscription on the World Heritage List in 2014. The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation (JCICC) participates in the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project to support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Road. As part of the project, JCICC is undertaking various activities in Central Asian Countries. This year two training workshops were held in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
 In Kazakhstan, a second training workshop on geophysical surveys was held from September 19 to 24. The workshop was co-organized with Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and the Kazakhstan Archeological Expertise Scientific Research Organization. A total of 12 trainees, including eight Kazakhs, 2 Kyrgyzs, one Tajik, and one Uzbek, participated in the training workshop. The training workshop was held at the Boraldai burial mounds. After last year’s workshop, Kazakhstan purchased geophysical survey equipment and Kazakh specialists actively included geophysical surveys in their archaeological research. Hopes are that this workshop will motivate other Central Asian countries to conduct geophysical surveys in their own countries.
 In the Kyrgyz Republic, a training workshop on archaeological documentation was held from September 19 to 25. The workshop was organized jointly with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic. A total of eight young Kyrgyz archaeologists participated in the workshop. After three days of lectures on archaeological documentation at the National Academy of Sciences, trainees studied topographic mapping using Total Station, leveling, and photogrammetry at the site in Ak Beshim. The trainees gained a better understanding of archaeological documentation through the workshop.
 The Japan Center for Cooperation in Conservation will continue to support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Road next year as well.


The 11th Seminar of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was held on “Blue Shield and Cultural Property Emergency Rescue: The Role and Importance of the National Committee”

 The 11th Seminar of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was held on “Blue Shield and Cultural Property Emergency Rescue: The Role and Importance of the National Committee”
 In this symposium, discussion focused on the Blue Shield as one approach to urgent efforts in the future to protect cultural properties in Japan based on experience rescuing cultural properties after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 The keynote speech was given by Corine Wegener, President of the US Committee of the Blue Shield. Ms. Wegener described her experiences founding a national committee of the Blue Shield in the US and emergency assistance efforts by the US Committee of the Blue Shield in Haiti. Other lectures described the current state of emergency responses to protect cultural properties in Japan, such as efforts to rescue both movable and immovable properties after the Great East Japan Earthquake and steps to prevent fires in libraries. These lectures also described related issues.
  A panel discussion featured an extremely important discussion of future emergency assistance efforts in Japan. Questions raised were which types of emergency assistance were needed and what role the Blue Shield has to play in Japan in that regard. The point was made that Japan needs to capitalize on its experience and expertise both in terms of domestic emergency responses and in terms of international cooperation.
 The seminar is the first to bring experts in a range of fields, such as museums, buildings, libraries, historical archives, and film, together in one place to discuss the purpose of the Blue Shield. This gathering represented an important step in terms of the future of emergency activities to preserve cultural properties in Japan.
 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage has planned future symposia on a range of topics to facilitate sharing of the latest information.


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

Setting up an exposure testing stand
Workshop on Historical Studies
Discussion among archaeologists in an artifact sorting area
Resin impregnation at the NNRICP

 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 since 2010 with the close cooperation of Japanese and Vietnamese experts. The NRICPT has been commissioned by the UNESCO Office in Hanoi as the base for Japanese efforts During the first half of this year, the following efforts were undertaken.

a) Field Study on Preservation of Excavated Remains
 From August 7 to 9, a field study was conducted at the excavation site next to the site where the new Parliament House is being constructed. Sensors to measure moisture migration in the soil where archaeological remains are located were replaced and added. An additional test area was established to measure inhibition of surface evaporation by a sand layer covering. An outdoor exposure test was also begun to examine the effectiveness of conservation techniques using brick specimens with physical characteristics similar to ancient bricks unearthed from the site. Automated monitoring of local meteorological conditions will continue. Analysis of the data obtained will lead to proposals for appropriate conservation approaches.

b) Workshop on Historical Studies
 On August 21, a workshop was co-organized with the Thang Long—Hanoi Heritage Conservation Center (TL Centre) and the Institute of Vietnamese Studies and Development Sciences, Hanoi National University (IVIDES). The on-site workshop covered the layout of the central area of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and its comparison to other ancient capitals in East Asia. The workshop featured presentations by Japanese and Vietnamese experts based on their studies of historical records and results of recent excavations as well as a discussion. The layout and history of the Thang Long Citadel, much of which are still unclear, was actively discussed. In addition, “Selected Japanese and Vietnamese Papers on the Thang Long Citadel” was published in conjunction with the workshop.

c) Workshop on Archaeological Artifacts
 From September 10 to 12, the 1st workshop on archaeological artifacts excavated at the Thang Long site was held in Hanoi. The workshop was co-organized with the TL Centre and enjoyed the cooperation of the Institute of Archaeology, the Imperial City Research Center, and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (NNRICP). Participating Japanese and Vietnamese experts shared their knowledge and exchanged opinions on ceramics and roof tiles with regard to classification of their styles, techniques used to produce them, and sites where they were produced. These discussions took place while experts directly viewing unearthed objects. The participants were again reminded of the importance of such a joint study.

d) Invitation of a Vietnamese Expert
 From September 10 to 28, an expert on wood material from Vietnam Forestry University was invited to the NNRICP to carry out joint experiments on techniques to conserve excavated wooden objects. Different laboratory experiments were conducted, including identification of tree species and examination of the effectiveness of resin impregnation, using test pieces unearthed from the Thang Long site along with fresh specimens from Vietnam.


Investigative Photography of the “Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven” owned by -Kimbell Art Museum during Restoration

A scene from the photographic investigation
The right scroll of the “Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven” at Kimbell Art Museum (before repair)
(L) The same right scroll, (Middle) A color image of the backside of the same portion (horizontally reversed), (R) A near-infrared image of the backside of the same portion (horizontally reversed)

 We have been performing restoration on the “Twenty-Five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven” (Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, United States) since 2011 as Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas. This is a pair of hanging scrolls, color on silk thought to have been executed in the 14th century. All of the bodhisattvas are gold-painted and, delicate decrative pattern of gold foil applied to them, but the paintings have begun to appear dark due to the filth of aging, and a problem for conservation arose from the glue becoming loose all over the place. During this restoration, we are going to dismantle the scrolls and renew the mountaining . At present, the removal of the old first lining paper of the light scroll compretely. We can verify the ink lines of the underlying sketch and the backside coloring by looking at the other side of the silk , and we took color and near-infrared photographs to perform the required investigation for its restoration. The bodhisattvas are presented with noble features when looking at the surface of the work, but we could confirm the existence of an excellent underlying sketch with calm expressions throughout the entire work because of the gentle line drawing on the backside in comparison to the quite solid line drawing on the surface by verifying it with a near-infrared image. In addition, we were able to confirm that the backside coloring was applied as a traditional Buddhist painting colored with white and green paints from the backside of the silk canvas. These types of images can only be verified when doing a dismantling repair. We could proceed with an even safer restoration by recording both surface and the backside of the work with high-resolution pictures, and we will utilize these images as research materials in the future. We would like to continue future work while increasing consultations with the curator of the museum that own Japanese cultural properties.


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

A demonstration of Japanese painting production techniques in the basic course
A demonstration of emergency treatment of hanging scroll in the applied 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 11th through 13th, and again with the applied course, “Restoration of Japanese hanging scrolls,” from the 16th through the 20th.
 In the basic course, following the practical process of cultural properties from creation, through mounting, exhibition and up to appreciation, we gave lectures, demonstrations and training for materials such as paper, pigmnets, paste,and animal glue, techniques of creating paintings,and caligraphy, mounting culture and handling of those cultural properties.
 In the applied course, we gave a workshop centered on practices in relation to restoring hanging scrolls using restoration techinques based on traditional Japanese mounting. We focused on the diagnosis of hanging scrolls, structure consiting of multiple paper layers of hanging scrolls, the emergency treatment and usage of traditional brushes and edged tools.
 Recently, the restoration techniques based on traditional Japanese mounting have been renowned abroad, and have come to be put to use in foreign paper cultural properties. However, for many foreign conservation specialists, the techniques are learned through reference books and hearsay. Through this workshop, we would like to offer an opportunity to understand the authentic materials and techniques to as many foreign conservation specialists as possible.


Architectural survey training at the temple of Ta Nei in Cambodia

Hands-on training for how to work with a total station
State of the measurement survey

 An architectural survey training course began at the Ta Nei temple in Angkor as a new human resource development project based on a cooperation agreement with the Cambodian government’s Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (ASPARA). This training course provides a combination of classroom lectures and field practices, with the goal of learning by the Cambodian staffs the basic sequence of steps for surveying architectural remains using GPS and a total station and CAD drawing. This was the first of four planned training courses through the next fiscal year. Twelve young and core staff members, who specialize in architecture and archeology, from the ASPARA, the Preah Vihear National Authority and the JASA team participated in the training, which took place for five days from July 30 through August 3. The trainees were all enthusiastically making an effort to learn the skills. The current goal is to complete an up-to-date planimetric map of the entire temple complex.


First Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Network (APTCCN)

Group Photo
During the Meeting

 At the request of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage participated in the First Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Network (APTCCN) held from July 20–23, 2012 in Bohol, Philippines. Representatives of ASEAN countries and three East Asian countries, Japan, China and South Korea, participated in the meeting, gathering information regarding future cooperation for safeguarding cultural heritage in these countries. Until last year, this meeting was called the Networking of East Asia Culture Heritage (NEACH), but the name was changed because the current five-year plan includes broader issues, as follows:.
1. the enhancement of regional cooperation in cultural fields through the establishment of a network of experts in related tangible and intangible fields;
2. the development a sense of regional identity among the ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea and China;
3. and the necessity of common understanding in the areas of cultural heritage management, human resources development in the cultural context, and small- and medium-sized cultural enterprises development.
 The 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan exchange is 2013. This meeting will be increasingly important in enhancing relations between ASEAN countries and Japan.


A Seminar on the Conservation of Wall Painting Fragments in the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan

A lecture by a conservator
Discussion of conservation techniques

 In a collaborative project with the Institute of History, Archeology, and Ethnography of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo has undertaken conservation of the wall paintings in the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan since 2008. A Seminar on ‘the Conservation of Wall Painting Fragments in the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan’ was held on June 12, 2012. Conservation experts described about the conservation efforts thus far.
 The wall paintings that are being conserved are mostly those that were excavated from the palace ruins (from around the 7th–8th century) of the Sogdian people, who were known to be merchants on the Silk Road, and those that were excavated at the palace ruins at the Khulbuk site dating from the early Islamic period (from around the 11th–12th century). The Sogdian wall paintings were burnt and fragmented. At the seminar, the experts talked about conservation techniques such as those to put the fragments together and display them in the Museum of Antiquities. The wall paintings excavated at the Khulbuk site are extremely fragile. Therefore, experts spoke about current conservation efforts to consolidate the fragments and conservation techniques for display of those fragments in the future. The seminar featured presentations on techniques and materials for the conservation of wall paintings and discussions by participants, providing a forum for a meaningful exchange of opinions.


Survey at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art

A survey at the Guimet Museum of Asian Art

 In 2010, the Institute concluded a memorandum of understanding on cooperative research and exchanges with the Guimet Museum in France, and the Institute has implemented joint projects such as lectures and restoration programs. The Guimet Museum of Asian Art began with the collection of Lyon industrialist Émile Guimet (1836~1918). Today, the Museum has about 11,000 Japanese artworks in its collection and is considered one of the world’s leading Oriental art museums. The Museum has one of the world’s oldest Japanese art collections, and its collection includes a number of works with significance in terms of art history. Some of these works are in great need of restoration due to the passage of time. As Cooperative Program for the Conservation of Japanese Art Objects Overseas, artworks of the Guimet Museum that included 5 paintings, i.e. Buddhist hanging scrolls and picture scrolls, and 1 piece of lacquerware were restored from 1997 to 2005. Consistently curating and exhibiting artworks in good condition is crucial to introducing Japanese culture and history overseas. With the cooperation of Hélène Bayou, the Museum’s chief curator of Japanese art, 3 Institute personnel—Wataru KAWANOBE, Director of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, and Masato KATO and Tomoko EMURA, both of whom are senior researchers at the Center—surveyed a dozen or so paintings from the perspectives of restoration and art history on May 25, 2012. In the future, the Institute will conduct more in-depth surveys and provide further consultations regarding artwork restoration and encourage cooperative research and exchanges.


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

A group interview of craftsmen at the rammed earth construction site
Testing at Paga Lhakhang

 Seven experts were dispatched from Japan to the Kingdom of Bhutan from May 28 to June 8, 2012 as a part of the Networking Core Centers Project commissioned by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs. This Project started this fiscal year to teach and train personnel in conservation and restoration techniques, including structural assessments and aseismatic measures, for traditional buildings in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
 For the project to be implemented, a Memorandum of Understanding was first concluded between the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Terms of Reference were also agreed upon.
 In cooperation with Bhutanese personnel, field surveys were conducted to elucidate traditional construction techniques used in temples, houses, and ruins with rammed earth and wood in order to identify the value to be conserved. In addition, questionnaires were drafted to facilitate future architectural surveys. Moreover, structural surveys were conducted in order to quantitatively ascertain the structural performance of traditional buildings. These surveys included a destructive load test on the rammed earth walls of Paga Lhakhang, a temple that was devastated by a fire and scheduled to be dismantled, and a materials test on the rammed earth blocks of that temple. Micro-tremors were also measured at Pangrizampa Lhakhang.
 Plans are to continue exploring the potential for aseismatic measures as an extension of traditional techniques through both architectural surveys and structural surveys.


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

Practice cleaning the surface of archeological metal objects

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted a workshop on conservation of archaeological metal objects at the History Museum of Armenia from May 29 to June 8, 2012. This project was part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. This workshop was the second conservation workshop, following one in late January and early February of 2012. Ten young Armenian experts from the History Museum of Armenia and other institutes in Armenia participated in the workshop. The workshop began with practical conservation techniques with a focus on surface cleaning and desalination of archaeological metal objects, i.e. removal of corrosion and incrustation. The workshop included lectures on examples of conservation work in Japan, conservation techniques overall, and cleaning and desalination of archeological metals. The workshop also included practice with photography, condition check, exhibition/conservation planning, and conservation treatments. This workshop helped improve the knowledge and skills of Armenian experts.
 The next workshop will continue with surface cleaning, e.g. corrosion removal, and techniques to prepare objects for exhibition at the Museum after next year. Plans are to conduct an elemental analysis of objects once they have been conserved and study techniques for their fabrication in greater depth.


Presentations at The Artist in Edo international symposium

Presentation at the National Gallery
(Washington, D.C.)

 The year 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry blossom trees to the US. To commemorate the occasion, a variety of Japan-US exchange programs took place in conjunction with the yearly National Cherry Blossom Festival. Large exhibitions of Japanese art were put on by the National Gallery and the Freer & Sackler Galleries in Washington, D.C. under titles such as Colorful Realm (ITO Jakuchu: The Sakyamuni Triptych and The Colorful Realm of Living Beings), Hokusai: 36 views of Mt. Fuji (KATSUSHIKA Hokusai: 36 Views of Mt. Fuji), and Masters of Mercy (KANO Kazunobu: Zojoji Temple’s The Fiver Hundred Arhats). In conjunction with these exhibitions, the National Gallery’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) hosted an international symposium on The Artist in Edo on April 13th and 14th. The symposium featured presentations by 13 Japanese art history researchers from Japan, the US, and Europe. Tomoko EMURA gave a presentation entitled “Classicism, Subject Matter, and Artistic Status—In the Work of Ogata Kōrin.” The symposium allowed presentations of research results to the global community, it facilitated exchanges with researchers from around the world, and it helped to further understanding of the Institute’s research efforts. The CASVA plans to publish a report based on the symposium’s presentations in 2014.


Seminar on “ Cultural Heritage in the Kyrgyz Republic”

Ms. Tentieva during the presentation

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation started a new project, 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,” in 2011. This project was commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan and aims to train young experts in Central Asia in the protection of cultural heritage in Central Asia.
 As a part of this project, three experts, Dr. Bakit Amanbaeva, Ms. Aidai Sulaimanova, and Ms. Ainura Tentieva, were invited to Japan and a seminar on “Cultural Heritage in the Kyrgyz Republic” was held at the Institute. Dr. Amanbaeva and Ms. Sulaimanova reviewed new archaeological discoveries in the Kyrgyz Republic and Dr. Tentieva spoke about Kyrgyz intangible cultural heritage.


A Seminar on Conservation in the Republic of Armenia and Invitation of an Armenian Conservation Expert to Japan

A presentation by Ms. Yelena Atyants at the Seminar

 Under the exchange program for museums in Asia, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation invited Ms. Yelena Atyants, head of conservation at the History Museum of Armenia, to Japan from February 26 to March 3, 2012. In conjunction with her visit, an open seminar on “exchange programs for the conservation of cultural properties in the History Museum of Armenia” on February 27, 2012 was held at the NRICPT. The seminar included a description of NRICPT projects at the History Museum, an introduction to the History Museum, a report on results of the 1st Workshop on Conservation of Archeological Metal Objects (which took place in January and February 2012 in Armenia), and a presentation on exchanges regarding conservation of textile artifacts in the History Museum of Armenia.
 There is no Japanese embassy in the Republic of Armenia at this moment, so there are few opportunities to widely publicize cooperation/exchanges like those mentioned. Hopes are that the current project will help to facilitate cooperation/exchanges between Japan and the Republic of Armenia in various areas beyond the protection of cultural properties.


The 2011 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage convened and the 10th seminar on “International Trends in Safeguarding Cultural Heritage Protection” was held

 The 2011 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was convened on March 16th. The Secretariat General reported on Consortium projects in 2011 and projects planned for the coming year. This was followed by the 10th Seminar, and it is started with a keynote lecture by Mark Woodward, Sustainable Development Leader, Manila Office, World Bank entitled “The World Bank’s Approach to Heritage: From Protection to Inclusion of Heritage Assets and Historic Cities in Local Economic Development Programs.” Afterwards, three other lectures described recent trends in the safeguarding of cultural heritage with a focus on international conferences that mainly took place last year.
 Yoko Futagami, Head of the Research Information Section, Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, described deliberations concerning inscription in relation to the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. Ms. Futagami also described international border disputes that occurred last year. Shinpei Minami, Director of the Office for International Cooperation on Cultural Properties, Traditional Cultural Division, Cultural Properties Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, talked about the process of and criteria for inscription of intangible cultural heritage. Mr. Minami also described the inauguration of the International Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region. Finally, Kosaku Maeda, a Visiting Researcher at the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, reported on recent efforts to safeguard cultural heritage and build peace by focusing on the 10th Expert Working Group Meeting for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Property.
 The topic of international trends in protection 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

Trainees studying pottery

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation plans to undertake a four-year training program from 2011 to 2014. Under this program, a series of workshops covering documentation, excavations, conservation, and site management will be held in the medieval fortified town of Ak Besim in the Chuy Valley, Kyrgyz Republic. This program has been commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan and aims to train young experts in Central Asian countries in the protection of cultural heritage in Central Asia.
 This year, two workshops on the documentation of cultural heritage were planned. The first workshop, which covered archaeological surveys, was conducted last October.
 The second workshop was held at the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic from February 4 to 10, 2012. A total of eight Kyrgyz trainees participated in the workshop and keenly studied archaeological objects such as pottery, stone tools, and clay figurines. They also practiced rubbing techniques and photography and they visited a traditional pottery workshop in Bishkek to study pottery production.
 Such workshops should help to protect cultural heritage in Central Asia in the future.


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

Photography in practice

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation conducted workshops on conservation of archaeological metal objects at the History Museum of Armenia from late January to early February 2012. From January 24 to February 3, 2012, a training workshop with documentation as its theme was conducted for 10 younger Armenian experts of the History Museum of Armenia and other organizations. The workshop included lectures like “occupational health and safety,” “museums and conservation,” “metals science,” and “science and analytical techniques in relation to cultural properties” as well as practice with “photography,” “condition check,” “optical studies using microscopes,” and “elemental analysis using handheld XRF analyzers.” In addition to covering selection of appropriate methods of conservation treatment, the workshop covered the establishment of a network of domestic experts and study of the techniques for fabricating bronze objects.
 From February 7th to the 11th, an international workshop on the conservation of archaeological metals was held. In addition to the 10 young Armenian conservation experts, attendees included several Armenian archaeologists and scientists who study archeological metals in Armenia and international metals conservators/experts from Georgia, Iran, and Romania. Attendees gave presentations on the study of Armenian metals and on the state of museums and conservation in their own countries. The workshop helped to foster the exchange of information and establish networks.
 We will begin practical conservation treatments such as corrosion removal in the next mission. Plans are to perform elemental analysis after conservation and study techniques for fabrication of objects in greater depth.


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

Interview at the Ministry of Culture
Bagan archaeological site

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Myanmar from February 22nd to the 28th. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in Myanmar by visiting sites firsthand and determining Myanmar’s specific requirements for cooperative efforts. Sites such as temples in Bagan and wooden structures in Mandalay were visited along with museums and libraries. Survey members gathered information and interviewed relevant personnel.
  Results of the survey indicated that cultural heritage sites in Myanmar are deteriorating overall. Systems for protection are inadequate, and heritage sites are in danger. Tourists to Bagan have increased sharply from last year, and the current tourism infrastructure is reaching the limits of its capacity. In addition to site protection, sustainable development is also a problem given urban conditions and disparities in income levels. In addition, museums have a serious lack of conservation and research facilities.
 In line with changes in Myanmar in recent yearst, the country will need even more support from Japan and the rest of the international community in every area, including the protection of cultural heritage. Such support projects will need to be coordinated in the future. Plans are to extensively discuss the future forms of Japan’s cooperation to preserve cultural heritage with relevant institutions.


Technical support for recovery process of damaged cultural heritage sites in the historical district of Padang, Indonesia

The older part of Padang affected by the earthquakes
Workshop on recovery process in Padang
Visit to a disaster area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture

 The historical district of the City of Padang, West Sumatra was seriously damaged by earthquakes occurring off the coast of West Sumatra in September 2009. Since November of that year, the National Research Institute of Cultural Properties, Tokyo, has continued to support the recovery process of damaged cultural heritage sites in the district. This year, field studies were undertaken by Japanese experts, and a local workshop focusing on the topics of earthquake-resistant construction, disaster countermeasures, and risk management was conducted from January 4th to 13th, 2012 within the framework of emergency programs by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Afterwards, Indonesian experts were invited to Japan from January 19th to 25th. Proposed restoration efforts are based on Japan’s own experiences following the March 11th, 2011 disaster in Tohoku.
 At the workshop, examples of efforts to restore damaged cultural heritage sites in Japan were presented, and earthquake countermeasures and townscape preservation of the the historical district were discussed on-site. In addition to surveys of restoration of damaged historical buildings and townscapes, field studies proposed seismic retrofits based on basic structural surveys and those studies examined the architecture of traditional townhouses. Indonesian experts who were invited to Japan were able to talk with personnel actively working on restoration and earthquake countermeasures on-site in affected areas like Tohoku. This series of programs helped to clarify issues with reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage sites in Padang two years after the earthquakes. Further cooperation is needed for more specific action plans so that valuable historical heritage sites are not lost.


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