Locally and Historically Sourced Strategies for Conservation at the Department of Culture, Bhutan

Ayesha Fuentes, Utsha Gurung, Tashi Lhendup, Dechen Cheki, Passang Tshering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Conservation Section at the Division for Cultural Properties (DCP) works primarily with thangka (painted scrolls) and wall paintings maintained at working religious sites in Bhutan. This research seeks to identify and evaluate sustainable and appropriate methods and supplies for the conservation of material culture in a dynamic ritual context. This project develops techniques and practices that prioritise locally available materials, studies religious space as a unique environment for preservation and maintenance, and documents a collaboration between local and imported conservation knowledge. This work includes an experimental evaluation of adhesive made from locally available wheat and potato starch, the development of a method for refining coarse hide glue to be used as a conservation material, and the use of soapnut (Sapindus spp.) for cleaning textiles. Initial results for materials and methods are presented here in consideration of their availability, efficiency, ease of use and performance. This research has also initiated an environmental monitoring campaign for public religious spaces that represent typical storage and display scenarios for most objects treated by the DCP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
JournalAICCM Bulletin
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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