|■Tokyo National Research
Institute for Cultural Properties
||■Center for Conservation
|■Department of Art Research,
Archives and Information Systems
||■Japan Center for
International Cooperation in Conservation
|■Department of Intangible
Exhibition of workshop achievements at the History Museum of Armenia
The opening ceremony for the exhibition (KAMEI Nobuo, Director General of the Institute, is on the far right)
The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation held its 6th workshop at the History Museum of Armenia from May 20 to 27, 2014. This workshop is part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The project is planned to last 4 years, and the aims of the project are capacity building and technical transferring in the conservation of archaeological metal objects. This year is the final year of the project, and the theme of this year’s workshop was “Exhibition in Museums”.
The workshop was held for 6 experts from Armenia and 2 experts from Georgia and Russia. Japanese experts gave lectures on the case studies of exhibitions at Japanese museum, the effects of light, temperature, and humidity that must be considered during exhibition, the exhibition explanation panels, and materials used for exhibition works. Then, the participants took the lead in displaying the archaeological metal objects that had been conserved in the previous workshops. Not only to publicize the achievement of the joint Armenian-Japanese projects but also to inform the visitors about conservation activities of this project, various opinions regarding the exhibition plan were exchanged among the participants. Specifically, photographs of the object before conservation were displayed beside the conserved objects to show the difference while the slide show depicting every step of the conservation works was shown. More detailed information achieved through the studies on the exhibited objects was included in the brochure. The exhibition preparations finished on the final day of the workshop. The opening ceremony for the exhibition took place on the same day, and both the persons concerned in this project as well as persons not related with the History Museum of Armenia attended the ceremony.
The workshop has concluded, and a report on the workshop is planned to be published in the future.
Presentations by Japanese experts at an international seminar
The Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation (JCICC) conducted the 3rd international workshop at the History Museum of Armenia from January 15th–21st and also 5th domestic workshop at the Museum from January 24th–25th. This project was a part of the Networking Core Centers for International Cooperation on Conservation of Cultural Heritage Project commissioned by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan.
During the international workshop, the international seminar was held on the 15th and 16th. In addition to Armenian experts, 7 experts on the metal conservation were invited to Armenia from 6 countries including Japan, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. Armenian archeologists researching on the Armenian archaeological metal objects were invited for the lectures. The attendees discussed the topic of “Preventive Conservation.”
The attendees gave presentations on the study of Armenian metal objects as well as on the present situation of museums and preventive conservation in their own countries. These seminars helped to exchange of information and establish networks. The seminars were followed by the lectures and the practical training provided by Japanese experts to 7 Armenian experts and 6 experts from the 5 countries such as Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. It lasted for 3 days ending on the 21st. Attendees learned about the environmental control in museums, integrated pest management (IPM), and the methods of materials testing for the exhibition and storage.
The domestic workshop for Armenian experts had 7 attendees. Attendees established plans for the exhibition of the metal objects that had been conserved in the previous workshops and they began to prepare for the exhibition.
The next workshop will cover the topic of exhibition in museums. Plans are to present the achievement throughout this project by holding the exhibition.
Checking the fractured shapes of the wall painting fragments (excavated at the Khulbuk site in Tajikistan)
From September 19th to October 14th, conservation works were conducted at the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan to the wall painting fragments excavated from the Khulbuk site. These wall painting fragments are assumed to have been produced in the early Islamic period. Since a limited number of wall paintings of this era have been found, this wall painting is very important from historical and art historical points of view in Tajikistan. NRICPT has been earnestly conserving the wall painting fragments since 2010.
The wall paintings were excavated in fragments. When conservation work initially began, paint layers and the white plaster layer as a ground were extremely fragile. In the previous projects, the work such as consolidating the paint layers, jointing broken fragments together, and attaching a new backing had been carried out. This year, artificial renders imitating earthen plaster were applied on the backs of wall painting fragments for further stabilization.
By this operation, the fragments in the various thicknesses were standardized to the same thickness, and it allowed the surface height of the fragment consistent for exhibition. Moreover, the defective and joint parts of fragments were filled with gypsum-based grout. The filling surface of the fragments was painted regarding the color balance of the whole painting which consequently made the image easier to see. In the future, plans are to explore ways to safely exhibit the fragments at the National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan.
Part of this conservation project was undertaken with a Sumitomo Foundation Grant for the Preservation and Conservation of Foreign Cultural Properties.