Sculpture Exhibit – Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, Japan

July 27, 2016

Visit coincides with first-time exhibit in Italy, “Masterworks of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture”


Stefano De Caro, ICCROM’s Director-General, has received the visit of Mr Ryohei Miyata, Commissioner for Cultural Affairs at the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sport, Science and Culture. The aim of their meeting is to strengthen the longstanding collaboration and partnership between Japan and ICCROM. Japan has been a Member State of ICCROM since 1967 and is the second largest contributor to the organization.

On the occasion of the meeting, Dr De Caro said, “It is a pleasure to reaffirm the collaboration with our Japanese colleagues at the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. The relationship with Japan is vital for ICCROM, as it enables and supports a wide range of activities, both internationally and regionally. The upcoming International courses and workshops on Conservation of Japanese Paper (JPC) and on Nature-Culture Linkages in Heritage Conservation, and the Regional Course on Archaeological Sites and Remains, all to be held in Japan this September, are just a few examples of the strong support ICCROM receives from Member State Japan.”

Mr Miyata for his part observed, “There is a long history of collaboration between ICCROM and the Agency for Cultural Affairs. I see ICCROM as a place where Member States can share their strengths and knowledge, and I very much appreciate hearing that Japanese restoration techniques are evaluated highly at the international level. Since the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, collaboration on disaster risk management and resilience have been highlighted both for tangible and intangible heritage, as reflected in the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 – 2030.” This framework benefited from a working session, “Cultural Heritage and Disaster Resilient Communities,” held immediately prior to Sendai in 2015. I do appreciate ICCROM’s strong involvement in this activity. The Agency for Cultural Affairs looks forward to continuing our strong relationship with ICCROM into the future.”

yakushi_NNMMr Miyata’s visit coincides with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, which initiated diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy in 1866. As part of that commemoration, an exhibition entitled “Masterworks of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture” (Capolavori della Scultura Buddhista Giapponese) will be held at the museum of the Scuderie del Quirinale from 29 July to 4 September 2016. For the first time, this exhibition is being held in Italy; it has been held only a few times outside Japan.

Though the artistic tradition of Buddhist sculpture was brought to Japan from China and Korea in the 6th century, the Japanese made the style their own, investing it with ever-increasing expressiveness, grace and realism. This exhibition presents large-sized religious wooden sculptures and sculptural units, dating from the 7th to 14th centuries. Almost unknown in the Western countries, the sculptures come largely from private temples located in remote regions of Japan, and many of them were previously too difficult to move.

The exhibition was made jointly by Japanese and Italian specialists, with close collaboration between the two countries, in particular between Bunkachō (the Agency for Cultural Affairs Japan), the University of Bologna and the Italian General Directorate of Museums (MiBACT).
ICCROM is pleased to give visibility to this exhibition, which provides a window on a special example of Japanese artistic and cultural expression to the Italian public.

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