|■Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties
||■Center for Conservation Science
|■Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems
||■Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation
|■Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Keynote lecture by Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre
The symposium underway
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (“JCIC-Heritage”) hosts a symposium each year for the general public. This year, the Symposium was held in the U Thant International Conference Hall of the United Nations University on October 26, 2013. The Symposium was entitled the “Future of the World Heritage – Preservation of the World Heritage and Japanese International Cooperation” (sponsors: JCIC-Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan).
In recent years, interest in World Heritage has grown. Japan is increasingly expected to internationally cooperate in safeguarding cultural heritage in order to safeguard World Heritage around the globe. This symposium described Japan’s international cooperation with regard to World Heritage sites such as Angkor in Cambodia and Bamiyan in Afghanistan. In addition, Japanese experts who have worked at those sites reported various issues faced by each of those World Heritage sites. The symposium was home to a discussion of the future forms of Japan’s international cooperation.
The keynote lecture was given by Kishore Rao, Director of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre. He described the issues with and prospects for safeguarding cultural heritage via the credible international framework provided by the World Heritage Convention over the past 40 years.
Instances of safeguarding cultural heritage and international cooperation around the world were reported. A report on Cambodia was given by ISHIZAWA Yoshiaki, chairperson of JCIC-Heritage, a report on Honduras was given by TERASAKI Shuichiro, a member of the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, a report on Egypt was given by KONDO Jiro, a member of the West Asia Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, and a report on Afghanistan was given by MAEDA Kosaku, vice-chairperson of JCIC-Heritage.
SEKI Yuji, chairperson of the Latin America and Caribbean Subcommittee of JCIC-Heritage, moderated a panel discussion after the reports. An active discussion developed regarding the strengths of and future issues with Japan’s international cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage around the world.
This symposium included many reports on Japan’s international cooperation to safeguard cultural heritage and was well-received by attendees in a wider age range than usual. JCIC-Heritage will continue to create opportunities to encourage more members of the general public to take an interest in problems related to safeguarding cultural heritage.
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage) held its 13th Seminar, “Developing a new partnership for a comprehensive approach to international cooperation for cultural heritage protection” on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at the Independent Administrative Institution National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. Efforts by private organizations to protect cultural heritage have increasingly garnered public attention, but there are few opportunities to hear and discuss the principles and objectives of those organizations. Given this situation, JCIC-Heritage recognized the need to consider cooperation with various private organizations and the need to discern their efforts in different academic disciplines, thus leading JCIC-Heritage to hold this Seminar.
OGIWARA Yasuko , Executive Secretary of the Kigyo Mécénat Kyogikai (KMK, Association for Corporate Support of the Arts), started the seminar with a lecture entitled “Corporate Support of Art and Culture: Its Varied Forms and Current State” that focused on a review of activities by the Mécénat in which their corporate members played a central role. Ms. Ogiwara also analyzed the current state of those activities and she described recent changes and the potential for future activities by the Mécénat.
HIRAO Kashuku , the head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Co., Ltd., gave a lecture entitled “Art Conservation Projects by Bank of America Merrill Lynch .” Ms. Hirao described projects to protect cultural properties implemented with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum. She also explained the significance and objectives of CSR activities by companies and the ripple effects of projects resulting from partnerships.
MINO Yasuhisa , Executive Director at the Sumitomo Foundation, gave a lecture entitled “Grants from the Sumitomo Foundation for Projects to Protect, Restore, and Preserve Cultural Properties.” Mr. Mino described the background for the Foundation’s establishment, its characteristics, and his experience with grants for projects to protect cultural heritage over the past 20 years.
SHIMA Nobuhiko, a journalist, moderated a panel discussion including all of the speakers as well as KOMIYA Hiroshi , Senior director at the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research. This discussion provided an opportunity to consider future actors working to protect cultural heritage. A wide range of topics was discussed, including the difficulties of continuing projects and their importance, economic conditions and the nature of support, partnerships formed by project participants, and leadership needed to manage projects.
The 2012 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was convened on March 15th. The Secretariat General reported on Consortium projects in 2012 and projects planned for the coming year. This was followed by the 12th Seminar, which started with a keynote lecture by Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Monuments Board, Ministry of Community, Culture, Youth and Sports, Singapore, entitled “International Cooperation-OMNI-Logue: Your voice is Mine.” Afterwards, four other lectures described recent trends in the safeguarding of cultural heritage with a focus on international conferences that mainly took place last year.
FUTAGAMI Yoko, Head of the Research Information Section of the Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, described deliberations concerning inscription of sites in accordance with the World Heritage Convention. Ms. FUTAGAMI also described inscription of a Palestinian site on the World Heritage List. NISHIBAYASHI Masuo, Ambassador in charge of Cultural Exchange and Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs, reported on the Closing event of the World Heritage Convention 40th Anniversary celebrations, held in Kyoto last year, and one of its outcomes, named Kyoto Vision. Mr. NISHI Kazuhiko, Associate Specialist for Cultural Properties of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, provided an overview of events in Toyama and Himeji held in conjunction with the celebrations’ Closing event. Mr. NISHI also described the Toyama Proposal on Heritage and Sustainable Development and the Himeji Recommendations. MIYATA Shigeyuki, Director of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, reported on deliberations concerning inscription of files on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Mr. Miyata also mentioned recent remediation of the regional gap in inscriptions and conduct of the 7th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The topic of international trends in protecting cultural heritage is usually brought up at seminars annually and attendees always number more than 50 people. Information on recent trends is greatly needed. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage will continue its efforts to share information through seminars .
Interview with members of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts
Interior of San Agustin Church, a World Heritage Site
Callao Cave on the northern part of the island of Luzon
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Myanmar from February 14th to the 25th. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in the Philippines by visiting sites firsthand and determining the Philippines’ specific requirements for cooperative efforts. Sites such as churches and houses from the Spanish colonial period as well as prehistoric shell mounds and rock art were visited along with museums and libraries. Survey members gathered information and interviewed relevant personnel.
Results of the survey indicated that the public needs to be increasingly aware of the need to protect many historic buildings and archaeological sites as cultural heritage. That said, educational institutions involved in protecting cultural heritage are lagging, so personnel need to be promptly trained. Cooperation with local authorities is a key aspect of protecting cultural heritage, and provision of that protection depends on local politics.
Interviews indicated that the Philippines wishes Japan to help foster academic cooperation between the countries and train Filipino personnel with an eye toward increased public awareness of cultural heritage and cooperation in Asia. Japan needs to capitalize on its previous cooperative efforts in Asia and provide support with an eye toward cooperation with other Asian countries. Such steps are essential to determining ways to protect the cultural heritage of the Philippines.
The year 2013 is the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, and Japan is expected to cooperate more with the region. In order to explore the nature of cooperation Japan can provide with regard to preserving cultural heritage, plans are to determine what support Japan can provide while continuing to gather information and coordinate with relevant institutions.
During the Meeting
At the request of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage participated in the First Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Cultural Cooperation Network (APTCCN) held from July 20–23, 2012 in Bohol, Philippines. Representatives of ASEAN countries and three East Asian countries, Japan, China and South Korea, participated in the meeting, gathering information regarding future cooperation for safeguarding cultural heritage in these countries. Until last year, this meeting was called the Networking of East Asia Culture Heritage (NEACH), but the name was changed because the current five-year plan includes broader issues, as follows:.
1. the enhancement of regional cooperation in cultural fields through the establishment of a network of experts in related tangible and intangible fields;
2. the development a sense of regional identity among the ASEAN countries, Japan, South Korea and China;
3. and the necessity of common understanding in the areas of cultural heritage management, human resources development in the cultural context, and small- and medium-sized cultural enterprises development.
The 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan exchange is 2013. This meeting will be increasingly important in enhancing relations between ASEAN countries and Japan.
The 2011 General Assembly of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage was convened on March 16th. The Secretariat General reported on Consortium projects in 2011 and projects planned for the coming year. This was followed by the 10th Seminar, and it is started with a keynote lecture by Mark Woodward, Sustainable Development Leader, Manila Office, World Bank entitled “The World Bank’s Approach to Heritage: From Protection to Inclusion of Heritage Assets and Historic Cities in Local Economic Development Programs.” Afterwards, three other lectures described recent trends in the safeguarding of cultural heritage with a focus on international conferences that mainly took place last year.
Yoko Futagami, Head of the Research Information Section, Department of Art Research, Archives, and Information Systems, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, described deliberations concerning inscription in relation to the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. Ms. Futagami also described international border disputes that occurred last year. Shinpei Minami, Director of the Office for International Cooperation on Cultural Properties, Traditional Cultural Division, Cultural Properties Department, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, talked about the process of and criteria for inscription of intangible cultural heritage. Mr. Minami also described the inauguration of the International Research Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region. Finally, Kosaku Maeda, a Visiting Researcher at the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, reported on recent efforts to safeguard cultural heritage and build peace by focusing on the 10th Expert Working Group Meeting for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley World Heritage Property.
The topic of international trends in protection cultural heritage is usually brought up at seminars annually and attendees always number more than 50 people. Information on recent trends is greatly needed. The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage will continue its efforts to share information through seminars.
Interview at the Ministry of Culture
Bagan archaeological site
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Myanmar from February 22nd to the 28th. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in Myanmar by visiting sites firsthand and determining Myanmar’s specific requirements for cooperative efforts. Sites such as temples in Bagan and wooden structures in Mandalay were visited along with museums and libraries. Survey members gathered information and interviewed relevant personnel.
Results of the survey indicated that cultural heritage sites in Myanmar are deteriorating overall. Systems for protection are inadequate, and heritage sites are in danger. Tourists to Bagan have increased sharply from last year, and the current tourism infrastructure is reaching the limits of its capacity. In addition to site protection, sustainable development is also a problem given urban conditions and disparities in income levels. In addition, museums have a serious lack of conservation and research facilities.
In line with changes in Myanmar in recent yearst, the country will need even more support from Japan and the rest of the international community in every area, including the protection of cultural heritage. Such support projects will need to be coordinated in the future. Plans are to extensively discuss the future forms of Japan’s cooperation to preserve cultural heritage with relevant institutions.
Interview at the Bahrainian Ministry of Culture
Qalat Al Bahrain and associated museum
The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage surveyed the cultural heritage of Bahrain from December 16th to the 23rd. The main goal of the survey was to explore current and future developments in international cooperation to preserve cultural heritage in Bahrain by visiting sites firsthand and determining Bahrain’s specific cooperation requirements. Sites such as archeological sites primarily consisting of burial mounds built around 2200 BC and Qalat Al Bahrain (on the World Heritage List) were visited along with the Bahrain National Museum and historical district in Muharraq. Survey members gathered information and interviewed with concerned personnel. As a result, the survey indicated the need for joint research on maintenance and management after excavations or inscription on the World Heritage List. The survey also indicated the need for long-term technical cooperation in conservation science and training of personnel to safeguard and restore buildings. Plans are to determine the future forms of Japan’s cooperation by consulting with relevant institutions.
Keynote lecture by Seiichi Kondo, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs
A symposium for the public was held on October 16, 2011 in Heiseikan of the Tokyo National Museum.
Seiichi Kondo, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, gave the keynote lecture in which he talked about cultural properties damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and a program to rescue those properties called the “Cultural Property Rescue Programme.” Satoshi Yamamoto, Councilor for Cultural Properties, Shingo Hidaka, Associate Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, Koji Miyazaki, Executive Director of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and Henri Simon, President of Patrimoine sans frontières (PSF), gave lectures and joined in a panel discussion on “Emergency Responses to Safeguard Cultural Heritage.”
The lectures covered diverse topics such as efforts to preserve buildings, folk cultural properties, and written cultural heritage damaged by the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake and the Great East Japan Earthquake. Topics also included assistance to safeguard cultural heritage abroad. Discussion of emergency efforts to rescue cultural heritage reaffirmed the need for Japan to capitalize on its experience in safeguarding cultural properties damaged by disaster and to cooperate in future international efforts to safeguard cultural properties damaged by disaster.
The 2010 General Assembly of the Consortium and a lecture was convened on March 11 (Fri.), 2011. A report on Consortium projects in 2010 and projects planned for the following year were reported at the General Assembly meeting. The lecture that followed was given by John Sell, Executive Vice-president of Europa Nostra. Europa Nostra is an NGO that is active in safeguarding European cultural heritage. Mr. Sell started by explaining the conditions that gave rise to the various cultures in Europe such as multiple languages and complex political systems. Mr. Sell also explained current conventions and administrative policies to safeguard cultural heritage. Mr. Sell then described the activities of Europa Nostra, such as its campaigns to preserve cultural heritage that is at-risk, such as Italy’s l’Aquila that was damaged by an earthquake, and its presenting of Europa Nostra Awards to recognize outstanding conservation efforts. For many years, Europa Nostra has encouraged coordination and cooperation with regard to safeguarding cultural heritage, and the organization’s experiences have provided a valuable reference for discussions of the nature of the future activities of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage.
Interview at World Monuments Fund (in USA)
Interview at Dutch Cultural Affairs Agency
Interview at French Blue Shield Committee
In recent years, requests for cooperation and emergency assistance concerning cultural heritages damaged by natural disasters have been increasing, and an effective execution of international cooperation for restoration of damaged items of cultural heritage has been more and more important. Therefore, the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage is now surveying the collaborative structure of relevant organizations and surveying supporting countries on how to perform emergency treatment. We have interviewed a total of 27 organizations in USA (on August 17th-26th), Netherlands and France (September 26th – October 8th) up to present, focusing on the administrative, civilian and international organizations.
In the USA, it became apparent that flexible treatment was performed during the Haiti Earthquake, making use of personnel dispatch systems to damaged items of cultural heritage and the information association network which had been functioning beforehand in USA. In the Netherlands it was revealed that the division of roles of each organization was clear and the content of support was specialized in small-scale financing assistance immediately after disasters occurred. Meanwhile, we found out that in France, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been putting emphasis on the cultivation of emergency support specialists (urgentistes) in cooperation with NGOs. This is in order to further strengthen the conventional cooperation system network.
Enhancing readiness for disasters that occur sequentially is a common issue in Japan, and we acquired useful information through a series of research when considering the Japanese international cooperation system.