|■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
The venue for a lecture at the forum
The scene of the satellite venue 1
The Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques held the “IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Forum: 10 Years after the Abolition of Methyl Bromide Use: The Current Situation of IPM for Cultural Properties” on July 16, 2015. This event was jointly hosted by the Japan Society for the Conservation of Cultural Property, and was also held as a regular meeting of the society. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the abolition of methyl bromide use in and after 2005 decided by the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. In this milestone year, we held the forum to review past activities, share information about the current IPM activities in the field of cultural properties, their progress and problems, and consider current challenges and the future direction. On the day of the forum, Mr. Takamasa Saito of the Cultural Affairs Agency, Ms. Rika Kigawa of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (NRICPT), and Mr. Sadatoshi Miura of the Bunkazai Chukingai Kenkyujo (research institute on insect and bacterial damage to cultural properties), respectively introduced fumigation techniques and subsequent IPM practices in Japan as well as countries around the world. In addition, various measures by individual museums were introduced from various perspectives by Ms. Mitsuko Honda of the Kyushu National Museum, Ms. Natsuko Nagaya of the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Ms. Naoko Sonoda of the National Museum of Ethnology, Mr. Shingo Hidaka of the National Museum of Ethnology, Ms. Akiko Saito of the Natural History Museum and Institute, Chiba, and Ms. Mutsumi Aoki of the National Institute of Japanese Literature. Furthermore, Ms. Miyuki Asakawa of Ninna-ji temple introduced concrete examples of IPM activities in temples, while Mr. Yoshinori Sato of the NRICPT introduced an example of IPM practices at a conservation and exhibition facility for a decoratedtumulus, which is an environment for burial.
The forum was attended by 200 participants, and we set up two satellite venues at a meeting room (see photo 2) and a lobby in addition to the main venue at a basement seminar room of the NRICPT (see photo 1). In the lobby, we displayed copies of articles on IPM for cultural properties and measures against biological deterioration as well as related materials, and allowed participants to take them home for free. While it was regrettable that there was little time for discussion due to a series of heated presentations, we again appreciate that we could end the forum on a high note thanks to the cooperation from those concerned.
Keynote speech by Dr. Piero TIANO from Italy
Growth of microbes causes substantial deterioration of cultural properties, regardless of whether they are outdoors or indoors. Memories of the Great East Japan Earthquake are still fresh. The effects of water damage can soon lead to microbial deterioration of cultural properties that have been damaged by a disaster like an earthquake or tsunami. Surveys to ascertain the extent of damage and countermeasures against that damage are crucial. Thus, the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques hosted a symposium on the Microbial Deterioration of Cultural Properties at Heiseikan of the Tokyo National Museum from December 5 (Wed.)–7 (Fri.), 2012. Different departments of the Institute take turns hosting a symposium each year, and this year’s symposium marked the 36th International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties.
The opening day of the symposium featured two keynote speeches by foreign experts, followed by a session on the biodeterioration of disaster-damaged cultural properties. The second day of the symposium featured a session on the biodeterioration of stone monuments and wooden structures outdoors. The final day of the symposium featured sessions on techniques to ascertain biodeterioration of cultural properties indoors and environmental factors for deterioration. The 3 days of the symposium featured 15 lectures as well as 23 poster presentations by presenters from Japan and abroad. The symposium encouraged an active discussion among the 232 participants (421 participants in total). The symposium was attended by numerous foreign experts from countries such as Italy, France, Germany, Canada, China, and South Korea. Symposia on the specific topic of microbial deterioration of cultural properties are seldom seen, and many of the experts from Europe who attended did so at their own expense. The symposium was truly an international symposium, allowing a substantial exchange of information. Sincere thanks are extended to the presenters and participants who enthusiastically collaborated with the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques.
Microbial Biodeterioration of Cultural Property
Degradation by microorganisms significantly affects cultural properties, regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. In addition, cultural properties that have been damaged by an earthquake, tsunami, or other natural disaster are soon susceptible to biodegradation due to water damage. Surveys of the extent of damage and steps to combat it are vital. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo will hold an International Symposium on the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Property on Dec. 5 (Wed.)–7 (Fri.), 2012 in Heiseikan of the Tokyo National Museum. In addition to guest lectures, the symposium will feature 22 poster presentations on biodegradation of cultural properties and steps to counter it. The symposium provides a forum for active discussion and exchange of information by domestic and foreign researchers and individuals who work with cultural properties, so numerous attendees are expected, including individuals involved in the protection of cultural properties, researchers, and students interested in the area of cultural properties. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 20th. For details, see http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~hozon/sympo2012/. Please direct inquiries to email@example.com.
Demonstration of the squelch drying technique
Discussion during the meeting
Spurred by the Project to Rescue Cultural Properties Damaged by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami (Project to Rescue Cultural Properties), the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo will provide logistical support via its Secretariat located in Tokyo and coordinate with the Agency for Cultural Affairs and other relevant institutions and organizations. A specific series of emergency measures must promptly be established (in a manual) to rescue damaged cultural properties in a variety of potential situations. When cultural properties are damaged by water from a tsunami, water damage, salt damage, and biological deterioration due to microorganisms (e.g. mold) should be limited as much as possible. Efforts should also be made to devise responses using materials and infrastructure available on-site in order to facilitate subsequent restoration of those properties. Several types of efforts should be explored. Information should be shared with relevant individuals, institutions, and organizations involved in rescuing those properties and information should be provided to the site of the disaster. As a first step, a conference to share information was held on May 10, 2011 at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. The topic of the conference was Expanding Choices in Initial Efforts to Rescue Damaged Cultural Properties: Limiting Biological Deterioration as Much as Possible and Preparing for Later Restoration.
This conference featured issues raised by Isamu Sakamoto, who was actively involved in efforts to rescue damaged cultural properties on-site during the Northern Sumatra earthquake, Toshiharu Enomae, who studied the incidence of mold on paper immersed in seawater, and Hiromi Tanimura, who studied use of the squelch drying technique as a way to rescue damaged cultural properties during recent floods in Europe. Experts in various fields were invited to comment, notes on initial responses for different materials were provided, and views were presented. In addition, the conference featured a demonstration of the squelch drying technique and sample paintings immersed in salt and salt water. Thanks are expressed to the experts who participated and to the 161 attendees who participated in the enthusiastic discussion throughout. Hopes are that this information will prove of some use at rescue sites.
Materials from the conference were made available at the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo website http://www.tobunken.go.jp/~hozon/rescue/rescue20110510.html on May 17.
Workshop on November 20, 2009
The Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques held a workshop at the conference room on the basement floor of Institute on November 20, 2009, as part of its research into measures against biodeterioration of cultural heritage. This workshop was for experts actually engaged in work at field sites and performed in round-table format so that specific discussions were fully executed. First, Mr. Harada Masahiko at the Nikko Cultural Assets Association for the Preservation of Shrines and Temples gave a lecture titled ﾒHidden insect damage at the Nikkosan Rinno-ji Temple Hondo – Treatment and Repairﾓ and talked about actual cases of damage by priobium cylindricum, which was probably the first case seen in an important cultural property. Mr. Komine Yukio of Japan Institute of Insect Damage to Cultural Properties gave a detailed report on an actual insect damage survey. Professor Fujii Yoshihisa at the Graduate School, Kyoto University gave a lecture on field surveying using resistographs and acoustic emission, and Mr. Torigoe Toshiyuki at the Kyushu National Museum gave a lecture on the detection of interior insects in analysis example of actual damaged wood using an X-ray CT for cultural heritage. Based on these lectures, active discussions were made on the future surveys and treatments and how those results are utilized in planning basic experiments and future repair. (15 participants)
French Historical Monument Research Laboratory (LRMH)
We were invited by the French Historical Monument Research Laboratory (LRMH), which conserves the cave of Lascaux, to visit from March 16 to 20, 2009. At that time we exchanged research on countermeasures against biodeterioration of monument, etc. The LRMH is conducting advanced research activities to delay the biodeterioration of caves and stone-constructed cultural heritage, and it has been implementing conservation of wooden structures in recent years. Three full-time researchers are energetically focusing on the study of biodeterioration, and, in addition to this microorganism department, many researchers are operating in various departments: cave wall paintings, wall paintings, wooden structures, stone cultural heritage, concrete, metal, ornamental goods, stained glass, and analysis. The LRMH is performing studies in an area very close to that targeted by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo. We hope to have more research interaction and exchange information actively in related areas.
The October 6 seminar
On October 6, 2008, the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques held a seminar as part of its research on controlling bio-deterioration of cultural heritage. The topic of the seminar, which was attended by 79 persons, was the maintenance of outdoor wooden cultural properties and issues for the future. Mr. Kanda Masaaki of the Nara Prefecture Board of Education spoke on the recent issues of biological damage in managing structures, such as temples and shrines, and carved wooden statues. Dr. Fujii Yoshihisa, a visiting researcher of the Institute from Kyoto University, accurately pointed out issues concerning deterioration diagnosis and maintenance systems for cultural property buildings. Ms. Honda Mitsuko of the Kyushu National Museum spoke on what should be done when exhibiting cultural properties outdoors and when storing them in museums. Dr. Kawakami Nobuyuki, an architect, gave a talk on the current condition and issues concerning the maintenance and management of restored buildings dating to the Yayoi period, using the Yoshinogari site as an example. This was followed by an in-depth discussion. There are numerous issues to be dealt with in conserving outdoor wooden cultural properties and specific measures will be studied in the project.
An IPM workshop was held jointly with the city of Kawasaki on January 31, 2008 at the Seminar Room of the Kawasaki City Museum Two lectures were given: on the fundamental concept of IPM and the methods for executing IPM Participants exchanged opinions on how difficult it is to prevent bees from invading outdoor museum complexes. They were also introduced to insects at various stages of life and handled materials and tools for preventing invasion of insects into museum buildings.
As part of the study on countermeasures for the biological deterioration of cultural properties, the Center for Conservation Science and Restoration Techniques held a workshop on November 19, 2007 at the Seminar Room of the Institute entitled “Diagnosis of the Deterioration of Wooden Cultural Properties.” Fujii Yoshihisa of Kyoto University spoke about the most recent techniques for diagnosis, giving concrete examples, under the title “Diagnosis of deterioration and maintenance of built cultural heritage – examples of diagnosis, countermeasures and future of diagnostic techniques.” Torigoe Toshiyuki of the Kyushu National Museum, in his presentation “A look at biological damage inside wooden sculptures – non-destructive diagnosis of deterioration by X-ray CT,” explained that CT is a very effective method for obtaining various information including detection of damage caused by insects to wooden sculptures. Finally, Tom Strang of the Canadian Conservation Institute spoke on “Examining concerns about heat treatments to control pests.” (Number of participants: 60)
“Museum Pest Cards” (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, CCI, Kuba Pro 2007)
The mushi meishi, or insect business cards, that were introduced by Tom Strang of the Canadian Conservation Institute （CCI）and Kigawa Rika of this Institute during the IPM Workshop 2004 which the two institutions held have been published as pest cards. The cards of 33 major types of museum pests based on Cyclopedia of Museum Insects provide information about the degree of damage they cause, their appearance and actual size, and the kinds of materials they damage. The cards come as printed sheets that can be detached for storage and there is space on the reverse side for notes. They are conveniently portable and we hope that they will be utilized on site at museums and other related facilities. We wish to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Yamano Katsuji, our visiting researcher, for his advice and cooperation in preparing these cards.
“Museum Pest Cards” are available at Kuba Pro Co. Ltd. (tel. 03-3238-1689) for 600.
Facing the first stone of the east wall (Group of Male Figures)
Removing the facing from the second stone of the east wall (Seiryu, the blue dragon)
With the dismantling and transporting of the first stone of the west wall on which is drawn a painting known as “Group of Male Figures” to the Temporary Restoration Facility on June 26, the dismantling of the stone chamber of Takamatsuzuka Tumulus that started in April 2007 has been completed with the exception of the floor stone. The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo is engaged in the work of conserving the wall paintings of Takamatsuzuka Tumulus, including the restoration of the paintings, biological investigation and environmental control.
The following sections of the stone chamber were dismantled and transported (in order): June 7th – the second stone of the east wall (Seiryu, the blue dragon); 14th – the second stone of the west wall (Byakko, the white tiger); 15th – south wall; 22nd – the first stone of the east wall (Group of Male Figures); and 26th – the first stone of the west wall (Group of Male Figures). The restoration team removed the plaster that covered the spaces between the stones and applied synthetic paper to the surface of the paintings in order to transport them safely. Materials needed as well as the timing for doing this work was carefully considered so as to reduce the risk of fungal growth. Moreover, every time a stone was taken out, the biology team investigated the microorganisms within the tumulus. As the stone chamber was dismantled piece by piece the environment team covered what was still left of the chamber with insulation in order to keep the humidity around the paintings stable.
Stones taken into the Temporary Restoration Facility will undergo photographing, sampling and cleaning. They will then be taken into the restoration workroom. After the facing on the surface is removed, the condition of the wall paintings will be observed and recorded in order to collect information necessary for the restoration of the wall paintings which will be conducted over a long period of time.