UNESCO Safeguards Endangered Museum Collections in Central Asia

7 November 2006

UNESCO has launched two new projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan for the preservation of endangered ethnographic collections. This initiative will help a total of five Kyrgyz and Tajik museums to develop further their conservation methods as well as the management, care and documentation of their ethnographic collections.

In Kyrgyzstan, museums involved in the project are the State Historical Museum in the capital Bishkek, the National Museum of Fine Art(s) named after G.Aitiev also in Bishek, and the Issuk-Kul Historical and Cultural Museum in Cholpon-Ata, located in the Issuk-Kul oblast in the Northeast of the country. In Tajikistan the Museum of Ethnography and the Museum of Behzok, both in the capital Dushanbe, are benefiting from the project.

In October two internationally renown experts from the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), St Petersburg, Russia, worked hand-in-hand with professionals from the five museums to upgrade conservation laboratories and to improve environmental conditions in museum storage areas.

"The renovated storage rooms will be re-equipped with modern and specialized storage equipment. This will help in the long-term conservation of the museums' collections", Ms Julia Kupina, Deputy-Director of the Kunstkamera Museum explains. The experts also helped organize the necessary temporary relocation of museum objects during the work.

Ms Julia A. Kupina and Mr Pogorelskiy, Chief Curator, also conducted tailor-made training sessions on how to digitalize, describe and manage collections, following efficient, internationally approved standards. The participants were the curators, collection managers, educators, conservators and administrators of the participating museums.

Over the next year, UNESCO will conduct several training sessions for Kyrgyz and Tajik museum professionals on preventive conservation, restoration and on collection photo copyright and management.

The two projects are part of UNESCO's worldwide Programme for the Preservation of Endangered Movable Cultural Properties and Museum

Development that was developed in partnership with the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/unesco-safeguards-endangered-museum-collections-in-central-asia