Research Project for the Conservation of Mural Paintings of the Ajanta Caves – Third Mission Report

Three-dimensional measurement in the second cave
Cleaning attachment originating from bat excrement

 The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are conducting joint research on the conservation of the mural paintings of the Ajanta Caves under the framework of “the Exchange Program of International Cooperation of Cultural Heritage” commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the government subsidized budget for “the Cooperative Project for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in West Asia”.
 In the third mission, undertaken from November to December 2009, we tried to solve various issues, including bat excrement, discoloration due to the yellowing of the previously-used varnish, and cracks and floating in the colored layers, and performed tentative cleaning of the mural paintings with ASI specialists.
 We established a joint research contract with Doshisha University on digital documentation for mural painting conservation and jointly performed three-dimensional measurement to create drawings of the current status of the Cave No. 2 and No. 9. We executed these conservation and measurement procedures together with Indian specialists and shared knowledge on conservation of cultural heritage and performed technical exchange aiming at capacity development and transfer of techniques.

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