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


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.


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.


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