The Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy are organizing a conference entitled "Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road, II: Wall Painting Conservation, Site, and Visitor Management." This international gathering—to be held at the Mogao grottoes site at Dunhuang in the People's Republic of China, August 25-29, 2003—is a follow-up to the 1993 conference, "Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: An International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites."

conservation image
 

The purpose of the conference is to disseminate the results of the last 10 years of collaborative work between the GCI and the Dunhuang Academy and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on the conservation and management of cave temple sites in China and along the Silk Road. The conference seeks to bring together some 200 specialists in relevant aspects of cultural preservation and to forge closer collaboration between professionals from the East and West. Participation is encouraged from professionals directly engaged in conservation and management of sites in China and from those whose experience with other classes of cultural sites may bring new approaches and insights to the problems of Silk Road sites. Because of limited facilities, the number of non-Chinese delegates will be restricted to 100.

The conference schedule will allow time for visits to the Mogao grottoes, a World Heritage Site near Dunhuang in Gansu Province. Since 1989, the GCI and the Dunhuang Academy (the authority responsible for the study, conservation, and management of the Mogao site) have been collaborating on the conservation of the Mogao cave temples, whose wall paintings and statuary date from the 4th to the 14th centuries. The region's art and cultural heritage—preserved until recently by their isolation and the dry climate—now require the attention of the conservation community if they are to survive present-day tourism pressures and development.

A nine-day postconference tour visiting Silk Road sites between Urümqi and Kashgar, in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and a one-day postconference tour to the Yulin cave temples are planned.

The conference announcement—including a call for papers and a form to express interest—is posted in the Conservation section of the Getty Web site, http://www.getty.edu/conservation/. A conference registration form, along with further details on the conference program and the postconference tour itinerary, will be posted in spring 2002. Participants from within China should contact:

Dr. Li Zuixiong
Deputy Director
Dunhuang Academy
Dunhuang, Gansu Province 736200
Tel.: 937 886-9040
Fax: 937 886-9103