The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and Rathgen-Forschungslabor (Rathgen Research Laboratory) recently co-organized a UNESCO expert workshop, held June 2 to June 4 entitled: Conservation of Mural Paintings – Research, Access, Conservation. The workshop was held at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, in association with ICOMOS Deutschland (the German National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites), as part of the UNESCO/Republic of Korea Funds-In-Trust project for the conservation of tombs and mural paintings in the North-Korean region of Koguryo (37 BC to 668 AD).
The event was officially opened with a series of speeches by the two guests of honour, Prof. Schauerte, Vice-President of the Preussischer Kulturbesitz, and Prof. Eissenhauer, Director-General of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, as well as by Ms. Junhi Han, from the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and Prof. Schädler-Saub of ICOMOS Deutschland. High-profile scholars from around the world who specialize in the conservation and technical analysis of wall paintings presented their findings to the selected participants and representatives from North Korea.
The conservation of mural paintings in remote and largely inaccessible regions is an ongoing challenge for scientists and scholars. In two discussion rounds participants discussed conservation treatments and drafted guidelines for future actions. With its broad application, this workshop could help strengthen existing networks and yield new findings in the treatment of historical murals.