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

2014 surveys of partnering countries: Malaysia and Nepal

During an interview with the Director of the Sarawak Museum and other museum representatives (Malaysia)
Patan Durbar Square (Nepal)

 The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage conducted several surveys in partnering countries Malaysia and Nepal in February. The surveys had 3 goals: to gather information about the current state regarding issues with safeguarding of cultural heritage, to ascertain needs related to those efforts, and to explore the possibility for international cooperation.
 In Malaysia, Consortium research members met with the Director of the Department of National Heritage from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and other representatives. The meeting provided general information about the system for safeguarding cultural heritage at a national level. Afterwards, they toured through the historic cities of Melaka and George Town (World Heritage Sites) and the archeological site in the Bujang Valley of Kedah and examined the state of preservation of those sites. They also visited Kuching on the island of Borneo, where ethnic minorities continue to preserve their traditions. Consortium gathered informationabout the system and efforts to safeguard the area’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which differs from thoses in Malay Peninsula.
 In Nepal, Consortium research members observed the UNESCO Japanese funds-in-trust project initialized to preserve cultural heritage in Lumbini (World Heritage site) and the management of the conservation of traditional buildings in the Katmandu Valley. They viewed intangible cultural heritage in forms of the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri and Gyalpo Lhosar (celebration of Tibetan New Year), and interviewed locals. In addition, Consortium visited the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, the Department of Archaeology and the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust to gatherinformation.

“Education for International Understanding” class at Itabashi First Junior High School.

During the class 1
During the class 2

 On November 13, 2014, SEKI Yuji, Vice chairperson of the Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (“JCIC-Heritage”) and a Professor at the National Museum of Ethnology, gave a lecture as part of a class on “Education for International Understanding” at Itabashi First Junior High School in Itabashi Ward, Tokyo.
 Itabashi First Junior High School is home to “volunteer efforts in support of schools.” JCIC-Heritage was invited to participate in the efforts by a regional volunteer coordinator, and JCIC-Heritage responded by sending a representative to give a lecture in connection with “Education for International Understanding.” This was JCIC-Heritage’s first invitation from a junior high school. Professor SEKI, who spent his childhood in Itabashi Ward, was asked to give the lecture.
 Professor SEKI’s lecture, titled “International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage,” lasted 50 minutes and was attended by 150 or so students.
 In the first half of the lecture, Professor SEKI explained what cultural heritage is and he then used pictures of Japanese castles and Kabuki performances to describe tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Professor SEKI then explained why cultural heritage needs to be protected, what will happen if it is not protected, the importance of international cooperation to protect that heritage, and the forms of international cooperation in this field, and he used slides to give clear explanation.
 In the latter half of the lecture, Professor SEKI talked about his experiences with international cooperation to protect cultural heritage in Peru and he showed pictures of sites in Peru.
 JCIC-Heritage will continue to educate and enlighten the public about international cooperation to protect cultural heritage, and JCIC-Heritage plans to inform the public about the importance of international cooperation.

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