Focus Scientific Research

Scientific study of the artwork at Nako, India

Gabriela Krist

Institute for Conservation and Restoration

The four, twelfth- to seventeenth-century Monastery Temples at Nakos, in the Indian Himalayas are, with their wall paintings, polychromatic sculptures and wooden ceilings, rare testimonies to early Tibetan Buddhism and to Tibet’s living cultural heritage. Due to climatic change, natural disasters and lack of maintenance, the need for conservation has become urgent. Before this can be carried out, research in natural and conservation sciences is required.
In this study, the clay substrates, as well as ground and paint layers of the decor elements were documented, analyzed and evaluated for their materials, artistic technologies and decay mechanisms, in order to be able to develop appropriate conservation strategies. In-situ irradiation techniques in the UV, visible and IR regions were used, as well as analytic instrumental methods, including ILM, SEM-EDX, XRD, FTIR, GC-MS, HPLC and ?-Raman spectrometry.