UNESCO/Japan Trust Fund Project: The Documentation of Cultural Heritage in Central Asian Countries

Discussions at Boroldai Tumulus (Kazakhstan), a candidate site for research
Archive of cultural heritage stored in a room of the Ministry of Culture, Tajikistan

 China and five Central Asiatic countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) are now proceeding with preparations aimed at the collective registration (cross border serial nomination) of cultural heritage objects along the Silk Road in a World Heritage Site as “Silk Road” . This project supports the application for this registration. Based upon this, the five central Asian countries aim to establish a base for the documentation of cultural assets in each country through the cultivation of talent, exchange of technology, creation of an archive material management system and cooperation towards creating an organization. Before starting this project, we held discussions with the relevant people of the five countries in Central Asia to determine courses of action and other specific information. Per UNESCO’s request, the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation participated in the preparation mission by touring these Central Asiatic countries (excluding Turkmenistan) from January 8 to 19. Through this mission, we were made keenly aware of the necessity of support and cooperative activities that suit actual conditions in each country when executing the project. It is because despite all being in Central Asia, there are great differences in the funding, human resources and technical abilities between these countries. It was confirmed that many photos, drawings and reports produced by the investigation of cultural heritage conducted in the age of the Soviet Union were stored in each country. It is hoped that these precious records and materials will be taken advantage of as a shared Central Asian resource through digitization and the compilation of databases.
 The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation will participate in this project by investigating remains using the latest equipment, compiling records and materials in database, and supporting and cooperating in the holding of workshops and symposiums. Through this we hope to promote talent and facilitate the exchange of technology with regards to the cultural heritage of Central Asia.

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