Exchange program in Mongolia (preliminary investigation)

Amarbayasgalant Khiid
Inspection of the Amarbayasgalant Khiid

 In preparations for the exchange program that has just started this fiscal year, we visited Mongolia from June 9 to 14. As part of this program, together with the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Institute, workshops related to the framework for the conservation of cultural properties including organizations and laws are being planned as are training programs to foster experts for the Center for Cultural Heritage of Mongolia under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia. The meeting with the Director of the Department of Culture and Art of the Ministry was filled with a friendly atmosphere, and the Director readily agreed to the conclusion of a statement and memorandum of mutual agreement with the Institute upon inaugurating the project.
 We also inspected the Amarbayasgalant Khiid, one of the largest wooden structures of Mongolia located approximately 350 km north of Ulan Bator, the capital. This temple underwent investigations and restoration projects by Japanese experts dispatched through UNESCO from the early 1970’s to the mid-1980’s. However, it is poorly managed at present and an expert of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science told us that immediate actions were required. We confirmed that there was not only damage to the color of the building and its roof but also that the structure of the temple was suffering deterioration. Through the discussions at this meeting, the two countries have come to hold the wish to include building-related contents in the training program for experts that will be conducted from the next fiscal year on.
 After our visit, we learned that demonstrations expressing dissatisfaction with the result of the election which had been held at the end of June led to a riot in Ulan Bator and that the mobs had set fire to the Center for Cultural Heritage, the counterpart of our Institute, resulting in damage to the building, equipment and cultural properties. We express our heartfelt sympathy to the staff of the Center. At the same time, we are seeking a possibility of emergency response by sharing information with the embassy and experts in related fields.

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