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


Networking Core Centers Project in Mongolia: Workshop on the Protection and Management of Amarbayasgalant Monastery

Participants of the workshop
Government Palace, Ulaanbaatar

 Four experts from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) were dispatched to Mongolia from January 21 to 27, 2012 as a part of the Networking Core Centers Project commissioned by Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs.
 On January 24th and 25th, workshops to draw up the management plan for Amarbayasgalant Monastery were held under the joint auspices of NRICPT, Nagoya University and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science of Mongolia (MECS). During the discussion, the protection of cultural heritage was considered along with the Land Law and the system of administrative courts. Accordingly, a written proposal to MECS and the Selenge Aimag (province) office was drafted. This proposal mentions establishment of a working group to include the Monastery on the World Heritage List and to draft a management plan, clarification of problems with the current regulations on protected areas, and efforts to obtain the understanding of local residents. NRICPT seeks to closely coordinate and cooperate with relevant bodies to bring the proposal to fruition.
 On January 26th, representatives of the NRICPT, Nagoya University, and the National Police Agency of Mongolia discussed the matter of illicit export and import of cultural properties. Representatives of the Police Agency explained national policies, systems, and criminal cases related to this topic. Representatives of the NRICPT informed them of cases of illegal mining and graffiti at the sites of Serven Khaalga and Rashaan Khadin Khentii Aimag, Mongolia.


Survey of flood damage to the ancient city of Ayutthaya in Thailand

Temple remains where large pools of water still remain (mud caked to walls indicates the maximum height of flooding)
Excavated remains completely under water
The bottom of a mural damaged by flooding

 Through a program commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, flood damage to the ancient city of Ayutthaya was surveyed by 2 successive missions on November 28–December 3, 2011 and December 18–23, 2011. Extremely heavy, continual rainfall starting in September caused massive flooding in Ayutthaya and Bangkok, a fact that was also widely reported in Japan. The Ayutthaya ruins, a World Cultural Heritage site, were extensively flooded as well. Concerned about the effects of flooding on the site’s conservation, the Thai Government asked for Japan’s assistance via the UNESCO Office in Bangkok. The decision was then promptly made to provide emergency assistance by having experts conduct a field survey.
 Two experts in measures to counter water damage and conservation of cultural heritage were sent to conduct the first survey, and 6 experts in conservation science, murals, architecture, and photography were sent to conduct the second survey. The extent of damage to major sites was determined firsthand together with experts from the Fine Arts Department of the Thai Ministry of Culture and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs.
 The surveys indicated that flooding was considerable and that some murals were soiled with mud, salt deposits had emerged in places, mud had been deposited on brick foundations, and an exhibition of excavated archaeological remains was submerged. However, generally speaking, direct damage to ruins was limited and most of the damage was relatively minor. Nevertheless, deterioration and deformation of brick stupas and prasats due to aging were observed everywhere. The survey results reaffirmed the importance of continual monitoring and conservation efforts based on a medium- to long-term plan in order to mitigate damage in the event of a disaster. Exploring ways to assist the Fine Arts Department in these efforts is a subject for the future.


10th Expert Working Group Meeting to Preserve the Bamiyan Site

Expert Working Group Meeting to Preserve the Bamiyan Site

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo has long encouraged projects to safeguard cultural heritage in Afghanistan in concert with UNESCO and research facilities both at home and abroad. Efforts to safeguard the Bamiyan site in particular center on the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project to Preserve the Bamiyan Site and these efforts have been made with the cooperation of the Afghani government and research facilities in various countries. An expert working group meeting on efforts to safeguard the Bamiyan site is held annually so that experts from various countries can share their results and discuss conservation and usage policies. This year’s expert working group meeting was held by the Institute and UNESCO; the meeting was held at the Institute from December 6th to 8th.
 The meeting was attended by experts from countries of Japan, Afghanistan, Germany, France, and Italy and from the international organizations UNESCO, ICOMOS, and ICCROM. In addition to the ongoing issue of preserving murals and safeguarding fragments of the Buddha statues, attendees broadened their perspective to include the Bamiyan valley as a whole. Attendees discussed surveys of widely dispersed archeological ruins, protection of landscapes, and infrastructure-related issues such as museums and tourism.


International Symposium 10 Years after the Destruction of the Buddhas: The Present Situation and Future Vision for the World Heritage Site of Bamiyan.

Discussion in the symposium
Discussion in the symposium

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo held an international symposium covering the Asian region in order to consider forms of Japanese cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage and the point of that cooperation. This year marks the 10th year since the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan, so an international symposium was held to summarize the results of the project to preserve the Bamiyan Site, which Japan was involved in, and to further publicize such efforts. The symposium met twice, once on December 9th in Tokyo and then on December 11th in Kyoto. The Tokyo event was sponsored jointly by the Institute and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties while the Kyoto event was sponsored jointly by the Institute, the Nara National Research Institute, Ryukoku University’s Research Center for Buddhist Cultures in Asia, and Ryukoku Museum.
 Previous discussion had focused on the issue of reconstructing the destroyed Buddha statues and caves carved out of the Bamiyan cliffs where the statues stood, but the issues of safeguarding ruins throughout the valley and protecting landscapes in response to recent development were raised. The symposium provided a significant opportunity for everyone to consider issues with safeguarding the Bamiyan site and Japan’s future international cooperation.


As part of its Project to Invite Foreign Artists and Experts in Cultural Properties, the Agency for Cultural Affairs invites the Minister of Information and Culture of Afghanistan to Japan

Tour of efforts by the Tokyo University of the Arts to preserve fragments of Buddhist wall paintings from Bamiyan

 In line with the Agency for Cultural Affairs’ Project to Invite Foreign Artists and Experts in Cultural Properties, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo invited H.E. Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister of Information and Culture, from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan December 4th–8th.
 Minister Raheen made a courtesy call to Masaharu Nakagawa, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, on December 5th. Minister Raheen expressed gratitude for Japan’s cooperation in preserving cultural heritage and asked for Japan’s continued assistance. On the 6th, he attended an Expert Working Group Meeting on Projects to Preserve the Bamiyan site, he discussed the results of the latest efforts to safeguard cultural heritage in Afghanistan by Japan and other countries, and he also observed efforts by the Tokyo University of the Arts to preserve fragments of Buddhist wall paintings from Bamiyan. In addition, the minister toured a restoration site at the Nikko Toshogu, one of Japan’s foremost pieces of wooden architectural heritage, with the cooperation of the Nikko Cultural Assets Association for the Preservation of Shrines and Temples.
 Through these activities, Minister Raheen expressed his admiration and gratitude for Japan’s cooperation to conserve cultural heritage in his country. Afghanistan is still in the midst of a civil war, but the invitation of its minister provided an opportunity for close cooperation with Japan on the country’s road to cultural recovery.


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

Interview at the Bahrainian Ministry of Culture
Qalat Al Bahrain and associated museum
Burial mounds

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Bahrain from December 16th to the 23rd. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in Bahrain by visiting sites firsthand and determining Bahrain’s specific cooperation requirements. Sites such as archeological sites primarily consisting of burial mounds built around 2200 BC and Qalat Al Bahrain (on the World Heritage List) were visited along with the Bahrain National Museum and historical district in Muharraq. Survey members gathered information and interviewed with concerned personnel. As a result, the survey indicated the need for joint research on maintenance and management after excavations or inscription on the World Heritage List. The survey also indicated the need for long-term technical cooperation in conservation science and training of personnel to safeguard and restore buildings. Plans are to determine the future forms of Japan’s cooperation by consulting with relevant institutions.


Project to support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Roads: Workshops in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic to foster experts in Central Asia

On-site training in GPR use at the Boraldai burial mound site.
Lecture on analysis of collected data from geophysical surveys.
On-site training in measurement at the Ken Bulun site.

 Five Central Asian countries and China are now proceeding with various activities to facilitate the serial nomination of cultural heritage sites along the Silk Roads in Central Asia as the “Silk Road.” The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation (JCICC) participated in a project to support the World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination of the Silk Roads (UNESCO/Japanese Funds-In-Trust project) starting this year and JCICC started various activities in Central Asia. Within the framework of this project, JCICC organized workshops in Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic in order to teach and train personnel.
 In Kazakhstan, a workshop on methods of geophysical surveying was conducted from September 27th to October 19th in cooperation with JCICC, Nara NRICP, and the Kazakhstan Archeological Expertise Scientific Research Organization. Archaeologists from Kazakhstan as well as from other countries participated in the workshop.
 In on-site training during the workshop, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity imaging were used at the Boraldai burial mound site near Almaty (Photo 1) and the ancient city of Sauran northwest of Turkestan. Trainees were quite enthusiastic (Photo 2) and learned much in a limited time.
 Although this was essentially the first attempt at a geophysical survey of archaeological sites in Kazakhstan, results were sufficient to depict buried structures. In the future, the effectiveness of these geophysical survey techniques must be examined and their results must be verified through attempts at various types of archaeological sites and excavations. However, geophysical surveys are sure to be utilized given conditions in Central Asia, where numerous archaeological sites must be surveyed by a limited number of personnel.
 In the Kyrgyz Republic, a workshop on measuring archaeological sites was held from October 18th to 24th. Eight experts from the Kyrgyz Republic participated in the workshop, organized by JCICC, Doushishya University, and the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of the Kyrgyz Republic’s National Academy of Sciences.
 After the lectures on the principles and methods of measurement, on-site training was conducted in the medieval city of Ken Bulun (Photo 3). Although the workshop lasted only 1 week, trainees clearly grasped the principles of measurement and learned measuring techniques.
 JCICC will continue to conduct workshops in Central Asia to teach and train personnel in the protection of cultural heritage.


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 Training of Archaeological Survey

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation started a four-year training program this year. In this program, a series of workshops covering documentation, excavations, conservation, and site management will be undertaken in the medieval fortified town of Ak Besim in the Chuy Valley of the 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, the first workshop was held from October 6th to 17th in cooperation with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of the National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyz Republic and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. The main topic of this workshop was documentation of archaeological sites. Trainees received lectures at the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage in Bishkek and received on-site training in archaeological surveys using total stations at the Ak Besim site. A total of 12 young experts joined the workshop as trainees. Eight trainees were from Kyrgyz while the remaining 4 were from the 4 other countries of Central Asia. Every trainee enthusiastically participated in the workshop to become skilled in archaeological surveys. Another important result of the workshop was the friendships that were fostered among trainees through the workshop.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation plans to conduct various workshops for the protection of cultural heritage in Central Asia in the future as well.


Conservation of wall painting fragments in Tajikistan (12th mission)

Fragment prior to work
Fragment after work (cleaning & placement of small pieces in their original positions)
Backing attachment

 From October 9th to November 8th, a 12th mission was conducted on the Conservation of Wall Painting Fragments in the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan. This mission conserved wall paintings from the 11th-12th centuries unearthed at a site in Khulbuk in Southern Tajikistan. Wall paintings at the Khulbuk site are relics of the earliest Islamic art in Central Asia and are items of unmatched value. This conservation project was undertaken with a grant from the Sumitomo Foundation.
 Most of the wall painting fragments unearthed from the Khulbuk site are no thicker than 1 cm. Overall, the fragments are severely degraded and are so brittle that they cannot be handed. In light of the results of trial conservation work in 2009, the 12th mission enhanced the layers of color in 3 fragments, cleaned them, and attached a backing to them. The surface of the wall painting portion was sprayed several times with a solution of Funori – (glue made of seeweed), the layers of color were brought out to a certain intensity, and then the portion was cleaned. Afterwards, small, loose pieces that had broken off were placed back in their correct position. To protect the replaced pieces and stabilize the fragment as a whole, a backing was provided with triaxial woven fabric to readily conform to the contours of the back of the fragment.
 Subsequent missions will look into ways to clean other fragments, attach a backing to them, and mount them.


Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage Symposium “Rescuing Cultural Heritage: A Firsthand Account of Emergency Conservation Efforts”

Symposium
Panel Discussion
Keynote lecture by Seiichi Kondo, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs

 A symposium for the public was held on October 16, 2011 in Heiseikan of the Tokyo National Museum.
 Seiichi Kondo, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, gave the keynote lecture in which he talked about cultural properties damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and a program to rescue those properties called the “Cultural Property Rescue Programme.” Satoshi Yamamoto, Councilor for Cultural Properties, Shingo Hidaka, Associate Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Koji Miyazaki, Executive Director of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and Henri Simon, President of Patrimoine sans frontières (PSF), gave lectures and joined in a panel discussion on “Emergency Responses to Safeguard Cultural Heritage.”
 The lectures covered diverse topics such as efforts to preserve buildings, folk cultural properties, and written cultural heritage damaged by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. Topics also included assistance to safeguard cultural heritage abroad. Discussion of emergency efforts to rescue cultural heritage reaffirmed the need for Japan to capitalize on its experience in safeguarding cultural properties damaged by disaster and to cooperate in future international efforts to safeguard cultural properties damaged by disaster.


International Course on Conservation of Japanese Paper

Photo of assembled personnel following the opening session
Practicum (lining)
Practicum (preparing paste)

 International training course was conducted from August 29th to September 16th by ICCROM, the Kyushu National Museum, and the Institute. Applications were received from close to 60 individuals who work with cultural properties from around the world, and this number was winnowed down to 10 trainees from as far away as India, Switzerland, and Mexico.
 The course focused particularly on Japanese paper and included classes from perspectives ranging from materials science to history. At the same time, trainees participated in practicum where they replaced missing areas, attached linings, and attached roller rods to produce finished handscrolls; trainees 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 visited a town where traditional buildings are being conserved. Trainees learned about the distribution of Japanese paper throughout history, from its manufacture to its transportation and sale. In addition, trainees visited a traditional mounting studio and stores selling traditional tools and materials and learned about circumstances involving the traditional conservation and restoration of paper in Japan.
 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.


Attendance of the 4th Pacific World Heritage Workshop

Traditional ritual in Samoa
Conference

 From September 5th through 9th, UNESCO’s 4th Pacific World Heritage Workshop was held in Apia, Samoa. Despite making up a third of the world’s surface, the Pacific region accounts for few of the properties placed on the World Heritage List. Thus, UNESCO has assembled island states representing the Pacific region so that could nominate their own cultural and natural properties for inscription on the World Heritage List and UNESCO has conducted workshops to assist with those efforts. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage attended the workshop as an observer in order to prepare for increasing request to safeguard cultural heritage from countries in the Pacific.
  In addition to 13 island states and 2 territories, donor states such as Australia and New Zealand and by advisory bodies such as ICOMOS and IUCN attended the workshop. Representatives reported on their previous efforts in and on the status of preparations for inscription of properties on the World Heritage List. Establishment of the Pacific Heritage Hub was also discussed.
 The Pacific region has actively sought to safeguard its natural heritage in the past but will now seek to actively safeguard its cultural heritage as well. Representatives apparently hope to continue efforts to improve museums in their respective countries. Representatives also appeared quite interested in safeguarding of intangible heritage. In the future, states in the Pacific region may request in safeguarding cultural heritage in its intangible forms as well.


Training and workshops at Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Mongolia

Workshop on formulation of a site management plan
Survey of building conservation and restoration in progress
ditto

 This year marks the third year of work carried out at Amarbayasgalant Monastery in Mongolia in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science of Mongolia (MECS) as part of the Networking Core Centers project commissioned by Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs. This year, expert teams were sent in late June and late August.
 In accordance with the topics covered at last year’s workshops, this April the Mongolian government enforced its decision to establish a protected area around the site based on the Cultural Heritage Law. The protected area is vast, including the monastery itself as well as the surrounding landscape, archaeological sites related to the monastery’s construction, and sacred and traditional sites. Specific constraints such as restrictions on development in the area are a major topic this year. With each team sent, a workshop was held with attendees from the province, district, monastery, and local community in order to encourage efforts by Mongolia’s Selenge Province to formulate plans for site management. Many issues were discussed, among which was the substantial delay in collecting essential information and setting up a framework to formulate a site management plan on the part of Selenge Province. Nevertheless, basic policies to be incorporated in the plan were summarized in recommendations to the province.
 In conjunction with these efforts, the team sent in August included Japanese specialists in restoring historical wooden buildings who trained junior Mongolian conservation specialists in surveys for architectural conservation and restoration. This training is a continuation of that last year and the year before. Trainees practiced surveying a temple building that has suffered extensive damage and they participated in steps from quantitatively determining the extent of that damage to preparing estimates of materials needed for restoration work. Historical structures within the monastery are dilapidated and extensively damaged and thus are in quite urgent need of restoration. By itself, Mongolia would have difficulty ensuring the technical standards for restoration. Calls for technical assistance from other countries like Japan are mounting. Discussion with representatives of the Mongolian government must continue in order to find ways to meet that need in the future.


Expert meeting for the conservation of the Ajanta Caves, India 2011

Presentation by Mr. Chandrapandian of the ASI

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) have implemented a collaborative project to preserve Ajanta paintings in Caves 2 and 9. This project is funded by the ‘Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project’ of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan.
 As a follow-up, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation invited Mr. Chandrapandian, an expert from ASI who oversaw the Ajanta Caves from July 23 to 28, 2011, to visit and an expert meeting was held on the 27th.
 At the meeting, Japanese experts reported on the status of Ajanta paintings in Cave 2, covered by the collaborative project, and factors leading to their damage. Results of high-resolution photographic documentation of Caves 2 and 9 were also reported by the Japanese experts. As a representative of the ASI, Mr. Chandrapandian reported on the ASI’s activities at other archaeological sites in India besides the Ajanta Caves. The meeting was a great opportunity to discuss how to better preserve the Ajanta paintings in the future.


Conclusion of an agreement on cooperation in the conservation of cultural heritage between the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Ministry of Culture, the Republic of Armenia

Conclusion of the Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding

 Our institute concluded an agreement with Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia and a memorandum of understanding with the History Museum of Armenia on June 24, 2011 at the Ministry of Culture in Yerevan, the Republic of Armenia.
 The agreement covers comprehensive cooperation in the field of the conservation of cultural heritage in the Republic of Armenia. The agreement seeks to train Armenian experts on cultural heritage through joint projects and workshops at home and abroad. The memorandum of understanding agrees to cooperation in the training of experts in the conservation and study of metal artifacts kept by the History Museum of Armenia.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation plans to begin efforts pursuant to the agreement and memorandum of understanding in the autumn of 2011.


Conclusion of an Agreement between the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage of Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, Japan for Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage of the Kyrgyz Republic

Conclusion of the Agreement

 On June 27, 2011, the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT) and Institute of History and Cultural Heritage, Academy of Science of the Kyrgyz Republic concluded an agreement and memorandum of understanding to protect Cultural Heritage in Kyrgyz.
 NRICPT will conduct a training program and a program on conservation of cultural heritage with the Institute of History and Cultural Heritage and jointly organize a symposium with the Institute.
 This autumn, NRICPT plans to conduct a program to train Kyrgyz personnel in documentation, excavation, conservation, and maintenance of historical sites in the medieval town of Ak Besim along the Chu River.


Participation in the Ashgabat Meeting to nominate Silk Road sites for inscription on the World Heritage List

Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Serial World Heritage Nomination of the Silk Roads

 Sponsored by UESCO, a meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Serial World Heritage Nomination of the Silk Roads took place May 3–6 in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. Two individuals from the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo attended: Masahi Abe and Kazuya Yamauchi of the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation. The meeting was attended by representatives from the 5 central Asian states and China, India, Nepal, Iran, Afghanistan, South Korea, and Japan. The meeting actively discussed policies for future efforts to nominate sites for inscription on the World Heritage List on February 1, 2013. At the meeting, Kazuya Yamauchi explained the Program to Encourage Inscription of Silk Road Sites on the World Heritage List of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo.


Project for the Conservation Center of the Grand Egyptian Museum  Implementation of occupational health and safety training and participation in a phase 2 study to formulate a detailed plan

Occupational health and safety training
Conclusion of an agreement on full-fledged cooperation

  The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation is continuing to assist with the Project for the Conservation Center of the Grand Egyptian Museum implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
  Occupational Health and Safety Training was conducted at the Conservation Center from April 27 (Thurs.) – May 5 (Thurs.), 2011. Professor Fumiyoshi Kirino of the Tokyo University of the Arts and Akira Fujisawa of the National Research Institute’s Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation were sent to the Center by JICA to serve as instructors. Egyptians have no chance to study occupational health and safety at institutions of higher education that teach conservation and restoration of cultural properties, and Egyptian experts often have doubts about their health and safety during their everyday work. The knowledge and skills they need have been determined from previously implemented training, leading to the current training program. Training was warmly welcomed, and trainees have often asked for repeated instruction. The goal is to provide everyone working at the Conservation Center, from restoration experts to cleaning personnel, with a shared awareness of health and safety through periodic training.
  In addition, 3 individuals from the National Research Institute participated in the phase 2 study (full-fledged cooperation) to formulate a detailed plan that JICA implemented from May 27 (Fri.) – June 4 (Sat.). With the written cooperation of experts, JICA consulted Egyptian representatives about the potential for future cooperation based on the phase 2 human resources development plan coordinated by the National Research Institute. As a result, JICA promised Egyptian representatives that it would assist with the teaching and training of experts working at the Conservation Center, and the early stages of full-fledged cooperation began after this July. Accordingly, the National Research Institute plans to cooperate more effectively with JICA.


Preparatory team sent to the Republic of Armenia as part of cooperation in safeguarding cultural heritage

Survey of artifacts in the History Museum of Armenia

 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation began Cooperation to Safeguard Cultural Heritage in the Countries of the Caucasus as part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency of Cultural Affairs. This year, the program will operate out of the History Museum of Armenia and teach and train personnel in conservation and restoration of metal and textile artifacts.
 The Republic of Armenia has a number of materials that are extremely valuable historically but cannot encourage research and conservation and restoration as expected due to the lack of financial resources, personnel, educational institutions, and information. The country craves foreign assistance to teach and train personnel in the area of protecting cultural properties.
 A preparatory team was sent to the country from April 3 (Sun.) – 13 (Wed.), 2011. The team consulted with officials of the Ministry of Culture (which oversees museums), it inspected the History Museum of Armenia’s conservation and restoration facility and repository, and team members talked directly with conservation and restoration experts working there about specific details on research cooperation.
 As a result, preparations are currently underway to conclude an agreement and memorandum of understanding with Armenian representatives. Preparations are also underway to begin workshops and joint projects regarding conservation and restoration and scientific study of the metal and textile artifacts in the History Museum of Armenia.


Expert Meeting on Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific, The Cultural Heritage of Western Asia: Current State of and Issues with Protection

 From March 3–5, experts from the 5 Arab countries of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Bahrain were invited to the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. These experts exchanged information on cultural heritage and the current state of safeguards in their countries with Japanese experts. A meeting was also held to discuss potential efforts to safeguard cultural heritage through future international cooperation via links with other countries like Japan. The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation seeks to construct a regional network to safeguard cultural heritage at locations throughout Asia and encourage Japan’s participation in those efforts. The Center has held international meetings with representatives of countries in various regions like Central Asia (2007), Southeast Asia (2008), and East Asia (2009). The Expert Meeting represents a valuable first step in constructing a new network from the perspective of safeguarding cultural heritage. This is especially true for western Asia, where many of the previous exchanges have dealt primarily with archaeological and historical research.

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