July 1, 2013

Monday, July 01, 2013 - , No comments

Ann Shaftel on "The art and craft of preserving art"

Canadian conservator Ann Shaftel has written on "The art and craft of preserving art", especially the maintenance of sacred textiles. Strong cleaning chemicals and modern lighting affect religious cloths and change the way the materials are cared for, Ms. Shaftel points out in the May-June 2013 for Tashi Delek:

For centuries, old treasures in monasteries and private homes have been cared for by resident nuns and monks. The longevity of these precious treasures is determined every day as the caretakers handle, clean and display these treasures on Buddhist shrines. Every Bhutanese home has an altar with thangkas and statues. Some shops and businesses also have an area with a thangka and offerings. Kiras, ghos (Bhutanese dress for me) and other everyday sacred family treasures that are woven into the fabric of daily life in Bhutan hold profound importance for the continuity of traditional Bhutanese culture. Yet the task of caring for them can baffle most. 
So there is robust logic in training nun, monks and private individuals in the care of these objects in their homes, nunneries and monasteries to enable them to gain basic preservation know-how. Though it is necessary to have some scientific understanding of materials and their behaviour, it can be combined with the dedication of caretakers and traditional rspect and methods to help preserve the treasures of Bhutan.