Conservation and security training offered to prevent theft from Himalayan monasteries

One little-discussed difficulty within Himalayan Buddhist monasteries is the ongoing incidence of theft of their artistic and spiritual treasures. Ironically, such items were often brought out of Tibet with great hardship, specifically for their safekeeping. Now a major effort is under way to counteract the inadequate security and documentation measures that allow for such losses.

The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has announced that after many years of preparation, its Digital Monastery Project “is ready to pilot a training opportunity for monastic treasure caretakers to be held in the Himalayan region.” An international team of experts from the conservation, security, and digital inventory fields will mentor monks and nuns through three-week “instructional residencies” beginning in March 2014, as well as on-site follow-up visits at their home monasteries.

Visit the Digital Monastery Project website for more information and for ways to offer support.