Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road: Second International Conference on the Conservation of Grotto Sites, co-organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy, under the aegis of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, China, was a follow-up to the first international conference held in 1993. The Second International Conference provided a forum for the latest ideas, experiences, methods, techniques, and research findings on the conservation and management of grotto sites.

Several hundred experts from 18 countries exchanged new ideas, experiences, methods, and findings derived from research and field work at Mogao grottoes and other Silk Road or earthen sites around the world. Over 80 papers were presented, addressing the following topics: principles, practices, and training in wall paintings conservation; site and visitor management issues; scientific research in conservation, with a particular focus on deterioration processes, and on the environmental and geotechnical aspects of conservation; and historical and art historical research of relevance to Silk Road sites and their conservation.

The Getty and the Dunhuang Academy disseminated the results of their collaborative work, particularly in Cave 85, a Tang-dynasty grotto. Discussion was also devoted to "Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China", a set of guidelines developed by the Chinese authorities with assistance from the GCI and the Australia Heritage Commission, that aim at improving the management of China's cultural sites. A 10-day post-conference tour visited Silk Road sites in and around Kuqa and Turpan, Xinjiang province.




Related articles in Conservation, the GCI Newsletter
The Treasures of Mogao: The Desert Gateway to China (Summer, 1999)
The China Projects (Fall, 1995)
Buddhist Grottoes on the Silk Road (Spring, 1994)