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Collection of South, Southeast and Central Asian Art
The conservators of the collections of art from South, South-East and Central Asia take care of 15,000 works of art and historical documents from India and the countries of the Indian cultural sphere of influence. Sculptures consist of multifarious material such as stone, plaster, clay, metal and wood. Buddhist wall paintings from central Asia were executed using secco and fresco techniques. Additionally, the museum houses complex works made of textile, Indian miniatures and ceramics. The responsibilities of the conservators range across scientific examination of works of art, their, documentation, conservation and, where necessary, conservation. This work is carried out in the laboratory, the sculpture workshop and the training workshop. The conservation department offers internships and takes part in the public relations work of the museum.
Collection of East Asian Art
The East Asian Art Collection's ceramic and lacquer workshop looks after one of the most significant collections of ceramic and lacquer art from China, Japan and Korea in Europe. A unique ensemble of a Chinese emperor´s throne and a triptych screen is among the 300 lacquer objects. A further important area includes the treatment of past restorative measures. Gifts and long-term loans to the museum have to be integrated in the existing collection and their conservation dealt with. Over and above this, the workshop is occupied at length with fake pieces made of fired clay. A faked Chinese sculpture and various ceramic pieces are used as case studies on the differing methods of faking: they are examined and thoroughly documented. Scientific examinations are carried out at the Rathgen Research Laboratory, with which there is close co-operation. Restorative and conservatory care of lacquer works has recently been taken over by the workshop. For example, the conservation department is handling large-scale Chinese carved lacquer panels in a special project. In the future, experienced lacquer specialists will take part in this. The panels come from the estate of the last German Emperor, who lived in exile in the Netherlands. A further important aspect of conservation work is the training of interns, who are looked after in the workshop before or during their studies.