Completion of the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project on the Conservation and Restoration of the Longmen Grottoes
A project for the conservation and restoration of the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang city, Henan province, China commenced in November 2001 using a trust fund of one million dollars that Japan offered UNESCO to conserve cultural heritage along the Silk Road. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, was commissioned by UNESCO to play the role as a consulting organization in this project, and has been acting as a facilitator for Japanese specialists. The Institute also received support from the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research (President, Hirayama Ikuo) and JICA for expenses that could not be covered by the trust fund alone. Additionally, the budget of the Institute has been used to support the project in various ways, including the purchase, installation and maintenance of observation equipments; long and short-term training of researchers of the Longmen Grottoes Research Academy’s Conservation/Restoration Center; and photographing of the site for the construction of an image database at Longmen Grottoes Research Academy. The sum that the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo used above and beyond the UNESCO fund reached approximately 60 million yen.
Upon completing the project for the conservation and restoration of the Longmen Grottoes in 2008, a final meeting was held at the China National Institute of Cultural Property in Beijing on February 20. This meeting also served as a meeting for the project on the conservation and restoration of Kumutula Qian Fo Dong in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region which was completed at the same time. Reports on these projects were given by the Luoyang Municipal Cultural Relics Bureau and the Cultural Heritage Administration Bureau of Xinjiang. Discussions by specialists were followed by comments from representatives of the Chinese and Japanese governments and the UNESCO Beijing Office. On the following day, a symposium to commemorate the completion of both projects took place and members of respective projects presented the results of their work.