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Mustang (moo-stahn), one of the last outposts of Tibetan culture, is so isolated and protected that no Westerner set foot inside its borders for centuries. But in the early 1990s, this untouched society set high in the Himalayas opened its borders for the first time, exposing an ancient world’s dazzling sacred relics long damaged by the elements and neglect.

In this remarkable NOVA documentary western conservators are shown helping to preserve a Buddhist temple and its murals using both traditional and modern techniques.

 

 
The Potala Palace, Lhasa
 
 
Wanderlust reports last month that – 

 

A record 10 million culture-hungry travellers are expected to arrive in Tibet this year, endangering many of the country’s heritage sites, says Tenzin Namgyal, the deputy chief of Tibet’s cultural heritage administration. “The boom will certainly bring wealth, but it will also put the safety of Tibet’s heritage  sites to the test. These are often centuries-old mud and wood structures that are extremely vulnerable,” he said. Tibet is home to some 4,277 major cultural heritage sites, most of which are monasteries. Potala Palace, one of the most frequented Tibetan monuments, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The number of visitors to the site has steadily been increasing. This year around 1.3 million travellers are expected to visit the Palace, hundreds of thousands more than last year.

Full article here.

 
 
Conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inpainting lost areas of a 400 year-old Tibetan thangka
 
Writing in The Art Newspaper on the 29 March 2012 Emily Sharpe reports that –
 
Conservators from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston called upon the services of nuns from Kathmandu, as well as Tibetan and Taiwanese specialists in silk brocades and Japanese fabricators of gilt-bronze decorative ornaments for an ambitious, two-year project to restore a series of 400-year-old thangkas or Tibetan paintings. The works, which depict the kings of the utopian realm of Shambhala, also known as Shangri-la, form part of the exhibition “Seeking Shambhala”…
 
A team of conservators spent around 4,000 hours on the project using materials sourced from far-flung corners of the world. “It was a truly global initiative,” says Elgar. “We wanted the mounts to be as authentic as possible.”
 
The works are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston until the 21 October 2012. There will be a Gallery Talk today from 2-3pm in the Sharf Visitor Centre.

 

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