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 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.


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.


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