Team begins to disassemble ancient Nara tomb for 10-year restoration

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KASHIHARA, Japan -- The Cultural Affairs Agency began work Tuesday to disassemble the stone chamber of the seventh- to eighth-century Takamatsuzuka tomb in the ancient village of Asuka, Nara Prefecture, for outdoor reassembly in a bid to preserve its colorful wall paintings designated as national treasures.

This is the first time the agency has taken apart a stone chamber containing national treasures.

It plans to take out 16 pieces of stone from the roughly 1,300-year-old chamber over four months before spending about 10 years to restore the chamber and its wall paintings, officials said...

A special crane developed solely for the Takamatsuzuka work will be used to hoist the stone pieces, whose condition have deteriorated severely since their discovery 35 years ago, the officials said...

The Takamatsuzuka tomb...contained skeletal remains of someone believed to be of high rank, possibly a crown price...

[Japan Times separately reported a new head of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, which"has been under fire in connection with the revelation that murals in the Takamatsuzuka tomb in Asuka, Nara Prefecture, were damaged during preservation work in 2002 and secretly repaired."]

Related Links

  • Takamatsuzuka tomb murals (Google Images)
  • Read entire article at Kyodo News

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