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JCIC-Heritage held its 22nd seminar “Global Trends in Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage”(02.04.2018)

The Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage) held its 22nd seminar, titled “Global Trends in Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage,” at the TKP Ichigaya Conference Center on Friday, February 16, 2018.

 

The purpose of this seminar was to consider future developments in how the international community will evaluate the reconstruction of cultural heritage sites that have been destroyed due to conflicts or natural disasters and develop relevant rules, while using case studies around the world as references.

 

After Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Chairperson of the JCIC-Heritage, delivered an opening speech at the beginning of the seminar, Toshiyuki Kono, President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) came to the stage for the first lecture, titled “Recent Global Trends in Reconstruction and ICOMOS’s Efforts.” Mr. Kono provided the background of ICOMOS’s efforts to prepare guidance documents for the reconstruction of cultural heritage that have been destroyed due to conflicts or natural disasters, and the outline of subsequent operations to create matrices for systematization of case examples, with assistance from the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

 

Following the lecture by Mr. Kono, Alejandro Martinez of the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties and Tomoko Mori of the University of Tokyo provided further details of the case research. Mr. Martinez talked about the reconstruction of the Senshoji temple in Fukushima Prefecture, which was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, and the earthquake-stricken churches in Venzone, Italy. He pointed out that the two reconstruction cases have something in common (e.g., detailed records of pre-disaster situations, survival of traditional construction materials and skills, and so on). Ms. Mori focused on “important preservation districts for groups of traditional buildings” and talked about the reconstruction of the Sawara district of Katori City in Chiba Prefecture, which was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Niikawa Tagomori district of Ukiha City in Fukuoka Prefecture, which was affected by the torrential rains in northern Kyushu, the Kuroshima district of Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture, which was stricken by the Noto Peninsula earthquake, and the historic quarter of Valparaiso in Chile. She pointed out similarities in those cases (e.g., restoration of disaster-stricken buildings as public property, development of design guidelines, and so on).

 

Kazuya Yamauchi of Teikyo University delivered a lecture titled “Accomplishments of the Bamiyan Conference and Upcoming Challenges: Future of the  Bamiyan Buddha Statues.” Mr. Yamauchi talked about international experts’ conferences and a symposium that were held at the Tokyo University of the Arts between September 27 and October 2, 2017. He provided the details of technological proposals made by the teams from Germany, Italy, and Japan regarding the reconstruction of the eastern Buddha statue at the meeting and the outline of relevant discussions held with the Afghan government and local residents.

 

Shigeo Aoki, Honorary Researcher at the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, served as the moderator of the panel discussion, and the four speakers answered questions from the audience. Discussions were held about the concept of universal value and authenticity of cultural heritage, the position of the ICOMOS guidance, the possibility of using anastylosis for the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the way in which stakeholders should be involved, the difference of reconstruction and restoration work between times of peace and times after disasters, the method of comparative analysis of case studies, the difficulty of defining the word “reconstruction” in the context of society, and so on, showing that the theme of this seminar involves many challenges.

 

Finally, Kosaku Maeda, Vice-Chairperson of the JCIC-Heritage, came to the stage, summarized the discussions in the seminar, and delivered a closing speech, and the seminar ended on a high note.

 

About 100 people participated in the seminar. We are extremely grateful for those who were involved in holding the seminar and also for the participants.

 

*Please click here for the program and outline of the seminar.

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