The European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation - Restoration applies the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular article 13 and supports anyone who seeks assistence in achiefing academic freedom.
Archive and Museum - Conservation concept for paintings on canvas and paper, notebooks, drawings, glass plates, photographs, plans and films of the Museum Affandi and the archives of the temple of Borobudur UNESCO Cultural Heritage site listed as an UNESCO Memory of the World in 2017 as a joint training with building up the department of conservation-restoration in ISI, Yogyakarta (2019)
Main objective of the projects is to work on preservation techniques in combining European expertise with local approaches in dealing with the hot and humid climate in restoration and natural hazards. Preliminary projects in cooperation with the Museum Affandi focused on experimental case studies on preservation techniques, building physics and on the reintroduction of traditional methods for insect and mould protection. Based on that a number of initial concepts on sustainable ways for the preserving of the cultural heritage of Affandi have been arrived at.
Working and discussing with researchers, artists and managers at universities and museums showed that there is an urgent need for a training centre for conservator-restorers in which the climatic conditions and the traditions of the region are given special consideration.
Representatives of the Borobudur Conservation Center (Balai Konservasi Borobudur-BKB) expressed their interest in collaborating. As the center for conservation-restoration and preservation expertise in architecture, metal work and ceramics in Indonesia it can be the perfect partner to develop new integrative methods and to work on the capacity building programs at universities. Since the restoration of the temple of Borobudur is one of the triggers for the establishment of the UNESCO Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage and thus the basis of the UNESCO world heritage list, this archive is of particular importance. That is why it was listed as a UNESCO Memory of the World in 2017.
The archive needs an urgent conservation-restoration concept which can be a perfect case study for the development of curricula at different universities to work on integrative measures. With the current proposal, preparatory work for the development of master classes on conservation-restoration will be carried out at the cooperating universities.
This goal is supported by a three-step approach:
- presenting the state of the art of conservation -restoration and preservation of archival material, library material and paintings on paper in Europe
- this knowledge is adapted and customized by the professors of the universities in Indonesia
- best practice examples are created for the time being which are designed in such a way as to allow Indonesian scholars to adopt and apply the methods later and develop new methods themselves where needed.
WAYANG BEBER, a unique cultural heritage of Indonesia – conservation concept (2019)
Wayang beber is an important element of Indonesian cultural heritage which is unique to Indonesia, being one of original creations of the ancient Indonesian culture. It is a variety of theatrical show referred to as the beber puppet (beber meaning “unrolling”, wayang meaning “puppet”) because, unlike the better known wayang kulit (the famous shadow puppets made of skin) it is not based on the use of puppets representing persons but on pictures painted on flat surfaces and mounted on sticks that are unfurled or spread out while the stories are told. So, the word “beber” in wayang beber refers to the way the presentation of the puppet is spread in front of the audience because the material used for this kind of puppet show is Javanese roll. In Javanese it is specifically referred to as “dluwang”, which is a fine writing material with a wooden or similar appearance made of the inner layer of mulberry bark (broussonetia papyrifera).
Because wayang beber is made of delicate dluwng material, it is rolled up and stored safely when not spread and used. This is also because the size of the puppet is about 3.5 meters long and about 70 cm high. Uniquely, in each scroll there is a picture in the puppet which is divided into four panels and tells a specific story, so that when the beber puppet is unwrapped, the first number (of first roll) is revealed as the initial round. Wood handles where the two ends of the puppet roll are attached are then plugged into a wooden box equipped with two holes. The mastermind (the man who tells or sings the story) sits behind the unfurled picture so that he is not visible to the audience. Before the actual play starts, the mastermind reads spells and prayers – this way, the audience is prepared for the upcoming event and would be listening silently when the actual performance starts. The puppeteers usually speak loudly, but from time to time they mumble regularly while burning incense. One performance usually takes 3 hours.
The performance is accompanied by gamelan music, and the instruments may include a drum, a fiddle, a tap, a kempyang and a slendro barreled gong. Usually such beber puppet performance is shown for Kaulan or Ruwatan (Kaulan is a sort of votive offering, Ruwatan is a ceremony to keep the bed spirit from the family) during the daytime, so that it does not need a screen or blencong (this is a lamp using open fire) as lighting as in the wayang kulit show. When the show is over, the wayang beber is rolled and put into a puppet storage box made of teak wood. The size of the box is about 138 cm long, 18 cm wide and 27 cm high, with a lid box 13 cm wide and 8 cm high. The box also contains some peacock (“Merak” in Indonesian) feathers which are considered good for keeping puppets in a good condition for a long time.
The last two surviving wayang beber are (1) in Wonosari Gunung Kidul; in the village of Gelaran II, Bejiharjo Village, Karangmojo District, Wonosari Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta Special Region, and (2) in Pacitan, Central Java. Both are owned by one family that has been hereditary owners of Wayang Beber. Gelaran Wonosari wayang beber in particular is now owned by the 15th generation of owners called Rubiyem (a mother, and her son named Mr. Wisto Utomo). The mastermind of the puppet is the daughter of Mr. Wisto Utomo named Nony Tia Fatmawati.
Gelaran Wonosari wayang beber consists of eight scrolls in total. Four scrolls contain one story about Remeng Mangunjaya. Two scrolls hold unknown depictings, as the scrolls may not be opened because, according to local belief, opening will cause great harm to the community. And two scrolls show a story about Jaka Tarub.
Wayang beber in Wonosari is attributed to two dates: 1690 and 1735. The year of 1690 was the time of the Kingdom of Kartasura, between the governments of Amangkurat II and Amangkurat III. The year of 1735 was the time of Paku Bhuana II in Kartasura. So it is estimated that the wayang beber in Gelaran was made during the Mataram Islamic kingdom when the kings residence was still in Kotagede (Kotagede is the old residency area of today´s Yogyakarta). The possibility that the wayang beber was made in Kotagede is further supported by the fact that four scrolls contain the play Panji Remeng Mangunwijaya-story. The two scrolls called the Jaka Tarub Puppets were most probably made at the time of Sunan Amangkurat II in Kartasura.
The eight wayang beber scrolls in Wonosari are currently in an alarming condition.
Some parts of the puppet have been torn and may become even worse if the scrolls are continuously opened for exhibition. Additionally, the colors in the picture of each wayang beber scroll are increasingly fading. So it is necessary to make an effort to save this puppet from further damage or extinction. Professional conservation seems to be the best solution for this problem.
The project aims to:
- identify a conservation concept for the wayang beber,
- perform the conservation.
- the idea and history of the particular wayang beber must be documented
- a particular conservation philosophy for wayang beber that cannot be unfolded but yet must be restored must be developed
- a good understanding of the dluwang and the paint, binding media, etc. must be achieved
- a documentation of the damage must be made
- on the basis of the above, a conservation concept can be developed
- the conservation must be implemented in a comprehensive way: preventive conservation, conservation, restoration, storage, environment, etc. including the box, the feathers and the room (environment).
Beasts to Craft: BioCodicology as a new approach to the study of parchment manuscripts (B2C) (2018-2023)
- B2C will lay the foundations for a new approach to the the study of parchment manuscripts —biocodicology— which draws evidence from the overlooked first stages in production, the raising of livestock and the preparation of the skins.
- Parchment is an extraordinary but overlooked high resolution zooarchaeological record and a molecular archive. Livestock genetics is revealing breed diversity and markers of character traits such as fleece quality. B2C will exploit this new-found knowledge, using progressively older dated archival (sheep) parchments to study the history of improvement 1300 - 1900. Visual examination of the skins will search for direct evidence of disease and fleece quality.
- Craft skills can be read from parchment and, when combined with chemical data and comparison with modern analogues, will produce the first European wide record of the craft from 500-1900. The size and scope of this the parchment archive means it is one of the largest and most highly resolved records of a specialist medieval craft. We will explore how these skills develop and when and where regional patterns appear and decline. These two remarkable records requires a large interdisciplinary team. However biocodicology draws from and informs upon a wide and diverse spectrum of existing scholarship in conservation, the arts and sciences.
- furnish manuscript scholars with some of the information available to the scribe at time of production
- inform and shape attitudes to parchment conservation
- provide high resolution biological data on animal management, movement and health and
- explore methods to link datasets and promote data reuse.
The Origin of the Glagolitic-Old Church Slavonic Manuscripts - An Interdisciplinary Investigation Accompanied by Editions (Sinai III) (2017-2020)
- Insights in the material and cultural history of the early Slavs.
- Editions of highly important texts of the 10th-11th c.
- Further developments of computer vision-, spectroscopic and DNA-methods of cultural heritage investigation.
- Insights in the make-up of Glagolitic manuscripts and the preparation of Glagolitic palimpsests.
Nanotechnological Restoration of Cultural Assets (NanoKult) (2016-2017)
A considerable part of our written and graphic cultural heritage from the period between 1840 and 1960 encompasses various documents (books, writings, scriptures, contracts, etc.) and innumerable pieces of art which have one feature in common: they are printed or painted on paper. Notably, paper of the quality produced during that time gets destroyed/degraded due to the generation of acid originating from the degradation process of the paper of this time; this degradation is caused by the production technique used which applied alum as paper auxiliary. As a consequence, the concerned documents literally decay, causing an enormous threat for libraries and archives all over the world. This problem becomes specifically evident when one takes into account that a myriad of these documents and artwork are unique copies with inestimable value for society and science.
Given that not a single currently applied technique for paper mass deacidification delivers satisfying results in practice and following the conclusions of a survey of professional conservator-restorers about the urgent need to implement efficient mass deacidification techniques to preserve cultural heritage on paper, rapid action is needed in this area. In this context, a new prototype process will be developed by an interdisciplinary team from University of Graz and University of Continuing Education Krems.
This highly innovative mass deacidification process involves development of alkaline nanoparticles as powerful deacidification components; these components will be functionalized with sophisticated cellulose derivatives which display excellent compatibility with paper and even strengthen paper´s rigidity and firmness. For technological simplification, this process, based on functionalized alkaline core-shell nanoparticles, will be operated in only one stage.
The major technological breakthrough of this new approach lies in the possibility to treat not only staples of single sheets of paper, but also whole staples of complete books. This way, the books get additionally furnished with a deposit of coated nanoparticles in their interior; this deposit acts as an alkaline reserve which neutralizes newly generated acid in situ. In addition, it has been demonstrated that this unprecedented method benefits the mechanical properties of the treated paper by improving its rigidity by 60% to 70%. Furthermore, the process purifies the materials internally and, due to the antimicrobial properties of the functionalized nanoparticles, prevents their spoilage by cellulose-degrading bacteria or fungi, another well-known factor strongly contributing to paper disintegration. Finally, our pre-experiments indicate that no deterioration of printing ink or typography have to be expected.
AFFANDI IVSustainable Hygiene Concept as a mandatory conservation aspect for people, paintings on paper and drawings and the buildings of Museum Affandi (2018)
The interrelation of restoration and preservation of the art and
architecture of the Museum Affandi in Yogyakarta has been topic of two
preliminary research projects within the frame of the ASEA Uninet. After
the documentation of the buildings and the art work on paper the
concepts of short and long-term measures have been outlined and are
under development. Still some particularities have not been studied in
detail so far. One of those is the threat by pests which can harm both
the art as well as the architecture the Museum Affandi.
Several biological hazards were identified: rodents, termites, moulds.
Whereas there are a number of measures used to reduce or even prevent
the threats most of them are also dangerous for humans. Brief
information on traditional less harmful measures could be gathered with
the frame of the preliminary projects at the Museum Affandi, but there
are no comprehensive systematic surveys about traditional Indonesian
available so far.
Still, there is a growing literature on traditional plant disinfection in Asia and South America, many of those based on traditional knowledge. (Before they are gone expanded: Capturing traditional textile presentation knowledge in Southeast Asia and Latin America, Julia M Brennan presented at ICOM CC Copenhagen 2017; Mould on Books and Graphic Arts - A Report on Latest Research Results, Boudalis etc al ed. Berger Horn, 2016; Traditional Preventive Conservation of Paper in India, Patil Ashish and Singh Neelam in ERC Newsletter 1/2015 pp. 2-7, etc.) Even if the problem is the same in many places approaches differ and are very much depending on local environment, local plants and the species of the pests.
Whereas those studies provide approaches to the interdisciplinary problems that have to be addressed for the special circumstances of a museum a number of questions are not answered in a way that they could be implemented for the particular needs of the Museum Affandi: details on herbal extracts, particular hygiene measures or construction techniques, choice of material to store and display works of art or other precious items and protect them against moulds and rodents, particular choice of place for durable buildings, etc. In this way there are a number of preservation measures used at the Museum Affandi which could be harmful for visitors and in particular for the staff (as they are spending a number of hours a day in the buildings). Still the methods are used with a focus on the preservation of the artwork. For the integrated approach that will be used for the upcoming restoration works these questions will be of interest, especially regarding the concepts for the long term monitoring and the facility management for both art and architecture of the Museum Affandi.
The project should
- investigate written and oral tradition on disinfection for humans and their valuable items in Indonesia
- collect information on what is used in modern museums, libraries and archives in Indonesia
- identify possible best practice models for Indonesia
- test if applications used for artwork can be used for architecture and vice versa
- identify whether any of these methods could be employed for the benefit of European museums and heritage items.
AFFANDI VThe Influence of Daylight and natural airflow in the architecture of the museum Affandi, Yogyakarta (2018)
AFFANDI IIITraditional Architecture and contemporary Art – The Estate of Kartika Affandi(2017)
Kartika Affandi is one of the most important contemporary artists in Indonesia. Keeping up the legacy of her father Affandi she inherited not only his talent but also an interest in architecture. Whereas Affandi designed the Museum in Yogyakarta as a place to host his art and this of his family in a very particular and unique architecture, Kartika created a space for her work of art hosted in a lavish garden inside of typical traditional buildings of central Java that she collected over the last years. The collection of buildings and art is a unique place where Kartika not only created a place for art but also a place where art is created in inviting interested women to workshops to create art on their own and also displays sculptures and paintings of artists all over Indonesia.
The traditional buildings translocated to the garden are pieces of art on their own and an important part of the architectural heritage of Indonesia. In the way they are displayed and used the premises are a kind of open air museum providing an insight into different styles of the so called joglo type of buildings. In terms of building history they are of exceptional interest as they represent a building typology that is declining in the way as it is represented in Kartika’s place. Combined with the art it is hosting today it provides a particular interesting place to research the history of the buildings and the how they can be a suitable place for hosting artwork on canvas and paper.
For the architectural part of the research a comprehensive recording of the building with an in-depth building archaeological research would be needed to unveil the origin of the buildings and how much they have been altered when re-erected at the place they are right now.
For the works of art exhibited there, a survey of exhibition conditions is of substantial importance. Not only the physical conditions, but also the reception of the works of art is of great interest. To exhibit these particular works of art a particular reception of them was developed earlier and also the exhibition in the concrete environment fosters a distinct sort of reception. To understand the reception fully is one of the prerequisites of any conservation work, as presentation in a certain context is one of the fundamental tasks of conservation. Therefore the exhibition conditions in the joglo collection of Kartika should be studied in comprehensive way.As a side work so far found notes about the architecture and the works of art by Kartika and her family members are on paper and should be part of the conservation project, as they show severe damage such as ink corrosion, a fatal decay of a particular ink (iron gall ink), a work that will be accomplished by the cooperation partner at the Donau University Krems. The joglo collection of Kartika reflects a raising awareness about tradition and its manifestations and also the possibility to move traditional buildings and put them into a new context, which is a trend that is raising within Indonesia. You can find traditional houses of central Java (limasan) in Bali used as bungalows in touristic enterprises for providing the “traditional experience of Indonesia”. In this way the interdisciplinary research in Kartika’s estate can provide a new approach to research the interrelation between art and architecture but also between the tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
AFFANDI IIAffandi´s Art and Architecture as Part of the Tangible and Intangible Heritage of Indonesia(2017)
- The memory cult concerning Affandi in his family and outside
- The history of the restoration of Affandi´s art
- The history of the museum Affandi
The project aims to compile those aspects in a comprehensive publication to provide an insight into the interrelation between the different facets of the tangible with intangible heritage of Affandi and its legacy as an important part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage. Again the cooperation between the UGM, the Donau Universität Krems and the TU Wien are important to connect the views from outside to those from inside Indonesia and to cover all aspects of this new approach. The aim is to use already compiled material from the preceding project and enlarge it with interviews and additional data focussing on the objective of the new project to publish the history of Affandi from a new perspective that can be a part of the celebration year 2020.
Development of an integrated Restoration Concept for the Art and Architecture in the Affandi Museum Yogyakarta (2016)
Affandi is one of the most important contemporary Indonesian artists and his work is part of the outstanding cultural heritage of Indonesia. His work consists of paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as the museum building which houses his works. The museum was planned and designed by the artist himself and is located in Yogyakarta downtown. The design of the building was inspired by the traditional vernacular architecture of Indonesia and can be considered as a piece of art itself. Construction work started in the 1960s and by now the buildings show signs of decay and need urgent restoration. The current state of the buildings already led to some damage of the artwork which are an important part of Indonesia’s contemporary cultural heritage. Inspired by the idea of Mr. Affandi’s daughter Kartika Affandi-Köberl, two universities in Austria propose to start a joint project with the Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta to develop a sustainable restoration and maintenance project for the Affandi museum.
- The object will be documented with a comprehensive and detailed building archaeological survey. The integrated approach for the building survey that has been used at the TU Wien, Department History of Architecture and Building Archaeology, for years, can be applied for the building to document its structure, building materials and to map the damage. In cooperation with UGM this work can be done within the framework of a joint workshop of staff from Austria and staff and students from UGM
- In parallel to this work, Patricia Engel from the European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration will (1) make a detailed survey of the drawings, (2) develop a conservation strategy for all paper based art by Affandi and (3) perform some of the conservation measures defined in the strategy. An introduction in the restoration techniques will be given as part of a workshop. Furthermore, the interior climate of the building will be analysed and the most suitable condition for a sustainable maintenance of the paintings suggested.
- A representative of the Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology of the TU Wien will analyse the building in cooperation with the team working on the building survey and the expert of restoration. Based on the detailed building archaeological survey mentioned above and on-site investigations the damage suffered by the building will be documented an analysed in detail. According to the requirements mapped by the conservation and restoration experts, indoor climatic conditions will be defined. Subsequently, a strategy for the restoration and optimization of the buildings will be developed, to provide the most suitable indoor climatic conditions for the artefacts.
- A detailed building survey of the Affandi Museum including
- a catalogue of plans and sections,
- a catalogue of rooms (Raumbuch) with details of the materials, and mapping of the damage.
- A strategy for restoring and conserving both drawings and paintings (watercolours).
- A documentation, restoration and maintenance strategy for the museum building. The challenge is to treat the building as a work of art in itself, while optimizing the indoor climatic conditions to protect the paintings from decay.
Stop FungiInnovationsscheck Nr. 5324706 Is an innovative development for an SME. In this case the question focused on mould attack in archives.
The DEACIMIC project is aimed at preservation of archive materials, dealing with their acidity, deterioration of their mechanical properties and microbial degradation using the latest developments in cellulose chemistry and nanotechnology.
Photo (from left): Christian Steindl (Berger), Peter Leerkamp (omni Access), Gerald Megens (Omni Access), Volker Ribitsch (Universität Graz), Eduard Paschinger (Entfeuchter), Martin Sova (Natex), Patricia Engel (Danube University Krems), Tamilselvan Mohan (Universität Graz), Franz Lang (Natex), Christine Grond (Danube University Krems), Gerhard Brandner (Entfeuchter), Christian Hanus (Danube University Krems).
The DEACIMIC project is aimed at preservation of archive materials, dealing with their acidity, deterioration of their mechanical properties and microbial degradation using the latest developments in cellulose chemistry and nanotechnology. It will help develop a new paper deacidification process combining the best currently available concepts with knowledge in supercritical fluid / volatile organics solvent reactions and nanotechnology. The process will be transferred from the laboratory to the pilot scale, including construction of a process device and process optimization. The knowledge gained in Deacmic will overcome the currently existing gap in the Austrian book preservation field and substantially strengthen the position of the Austrian SMEs involved in the project on the European market.Partners:
- Institut für Chemie, Universität Graz
- Natex Prozesstechnologie GesmbH,
- Ferdinand Berger & Söhne GesmbH
- Danube University Krems, European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration is the Leadpartner.
- Stift Zwettl
- Stift Kremsmünster
- Stift Seitenstetten
- Stift Vorau
- Archiv der Barmherzigen Schwestern Wien Gumpendorf
- Stift St. Florian
MEN & BOOKS - for a risk free use of the European written cultural heritage
Book and paper conservators and archivists all over Europe have a big common unsolved problem: mould. Mould destroys our cultural heritage. Especially books and charters in archives, being unique by nature and thus extremely valuable for our understanding of Europe´s past are very much at risk to be lost due to microorganisms: firstly because there are fungi that particularly attack and destroy paper and parchment; secondly, because archival material is stored en masse and is comparatively rarely moved – therefore infestation often stays undiscovered for a long time until it is so vast it cannot be overseen. Mouldy material is a serious health hazard for men, both archivists and readers, as most of the spores cause dangerous illnesses. Today many charters and books are still disinfected with toxic measures. This project seeks to find a solution to exterminate the mould with a substance and method that are harmless for men and books. This is beneficial for all European users of archival material.
The Archives of the Protestant Parish of the Holy Trinity in Swidnica houses about 12,000 manuscripts, prints, bound books and loose archival material. This archival material is complete without any losses from 1652 until today. These highly valuable sources for the history of Protestantism were chosen as a representative material. The material is certainly of interest for all European citizens who are interested in their history. From the material point the various writing materials, leathers, parchment and paper in this archive are found in almost any historic collection in Europe, promising significant results useful for any other institution in Europe and around the world.This project cannot be realized in full without a substantial interdisciplinary, international dialogue. By combining art and culture, history and science and health topics, the project is clearly more than its parts. Please find a link to the official project website here.
Dr Patricia Engel, European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration; Shirin Jacoby, Student; DI Isabel Peißl, Umweltbundesamt; Prof. Dr. Piotr Oszczanowski, University Wroc?aw; Sonja Stankowski, Swidnica (translator); Prof. Dr. Zdenek R. Nespor, University Prague; Bozena Pytel, Swidnica; Dr. Stephan Aderhold, Swidnica/Berlin; Prof. Dr. Katja Sterflinger-Gleixner, BOKU Vienna, (ANTRAGSTELLERIN); Dr. Anna Ziemlewska, Polnish Academy of Sciences, Vienna; Pastor Waldemar Pytel, Swidnica; Dr. Rene Eckhart, TU Graz; Caroline Maximoff, ICARUS; Dr. Elisabeth Umweltbundesamt Vienna.
The research dealt with paper production in ancient Armenia. The wish to find measures against ink corrosion in Armenian manuscripts led to a closer survey of Armenian inks that was published earlier. Armenian paper, which is the second parameter in ink corrosion, is the theme of a publication to published soon. Visual observations, FT IR and XRF spectroscopy, fibre analyses, watermark survey and recreating paper surfaces after historical recipes were used in combination to understand what types of Armenian paper might support or hinder ink corrosion in Armenian manuscripts. The work was performed via a cooperation of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration. Erasmus students from University of Zadar and the Matenadaran Yerevan were also involved.
Prof. Mag. Helmgard Holle demonstrates the procedure of fibre analysis for two ERASMUS students of the European Research Centre for Book and Paper Conservation-Restoration