News

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official redevelopment plans for the historic Tibetan town of Jyekundo (chin. Yushu) that was badly damaged by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14, 2010. There will be a complete new town build with little similarity to the historic trading town, and even buildings that survived the earthquake may get flattened unless they can get historic building status. Download the plans here. Thanks to friends who pointed these out.
House in Ladakh damaged by floodOn August 5, Ladakh was hit by mudslides and flashfloods triggered by a cloudburst. Affected were lower Leh, Choklamsar, Sabu, Shey, Basgo, Nyemo, Skorbuchen, Dhar Hanu and other villages, causing untold destruction and so far about 200 confirmed deaths, download the official damage assessment here. THF is helping to prevent collapse of buildings in Leh, and plans to assist rebuilding and flood prevention if funds can be raised. More info about the situation in Ladakh soon on this space.
German Ambassador inaugurates THF Ladakh projectOn August 3, the German Ambassador to India, Mr. Mattussek, has inaugurated THF"s Tsatsapuri restoration project in Alchi village, Ladakh. The project has been funded for the past three years by the Cultural Section of the German Embassy in India. The event was covered by the local Ladakhi TV news channel.
THF is featured in the BBC's series, Heritage Heroes. Transmission 24/07 @ 01.30, 08.30 GMT and 25/07 @ 14.30, 20.30 GMT.
On 12-16 June 2010 THF participated in the Asian Community Architects Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Organised by ACHR and part of the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) programme, the meeting brought together 125 participants from 23 and was hosted by Chiang Mai University's Faculty of Architecture. Participants shared their experiences and projects working to help disadvantaged

THF is currently hard at work to complete the Central Asian Research Library, attached to the Central Asian Museum and funded by the Embassy of Finland in Delhi.
In May 2010 THF and its local partner LOTI have resumed work on the construction of the Central Asian Museum in Leh, Ladakh.
Gyatsongtsang House, Yushu May 2010 after the earthquakeThe Chatsongtsang (Ja tshong tshang) House in the small historic center of Jyiekundu town (Jiegu, chin. Yushu) that was restored by THF in 2009 has survived the April 14 earthquake in Yushu Prefecture, Qinghai, China. It is a traditional mud-and-timber structure, typical for the region.
2:52 am, 08 May 2010
Courtesy Himalayan Region Eco-tourism ProjectTHF has joined other NGOs and volunteers to send help to the Tibetan town of Jiegu (Jiekundo), devastated by the earthquake on 14 April 2010. Please contribute funds. You can download the information here, or click below for more information .
The THF core team have been invited to give a presentation for the City Talk series at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong on November 19 2009. On November 24 we will be giving a different presentation at the Asia Society, entitled: The Spirit Travels: Tibetan Architecture in Lhasa, Amdo, Mongolia and Ladakh.

UNESCO Heritage Award 2009 for THF's Sangiin Dalai projectThe THF core team have been invited to give a presentation for the City Talk series at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong on November 19 2009. On November 24 we will be giving a different presentation at the Asia Society, entitled: The Spirit Travels: Tibetan Architecture in Lhasa, Amdo, Mongolia and Ladakh.

THF has completed the main phase of the restoration of the Sangye Lhakhang, the main hall and oldest building of the 14th century Nangra Serkhang monastery in Amdo.
Andre Alexander, Prof. Peter Herrle and Prof. Peter Berten are offering a course on Himalayan-Tibetan architecture and urban heritage in Ladakhat the Habitat Unit of the School of Architecture, Berlin University of Technology. The course runs from July 6 to 21, and on August 24 the entire class will arrive in Leh for field work.
A special issue about heritage conservation in the renown Indian magazine, Indian Architect and Builder, carries an article about THF's Ladakh project, see http://www.iabforum.com/magazines_may09.html

The ceiling of the ground floor of the Central Asian Museum Leh, built by THF/LOTI, is nearing completion.
Leh Main Bazaar 1977 (collection Skarma Rinchen)Lala's Gallery, the Leh Heritage House operated by THF/LOTI, opens the season with two exhibitions of photos of Ladakh in the 1960s and 70s by local photographers Nissar and Skarma Rinchen.

Avalokiteshvara image carved on rockThe half-buried stone image of Maitreya Buddha was recorded by THF for the Leh old town inventory in 2003 in a backyard in the Manikhang area. Long forgotten, it once marked the boundary of Leh town. In 2008 we asked restorer Patrick Juergens to conserve the image, which was decaying probably as a result of salts in the soils and accumulating waste. In early 2009 local historian S. Puntsog, the owners of the backyard and the manikhang area community requested THF to move the image so that it would be safe from pollution and visible again. On May 25-26 this was performed by THF's team of 35 artisans from Ladakh, Nepal, Bihar, Jammu/Kashmir, Germany and France, using a technique pioneered by the ancient Egyptians to roll the 3-ton image away. We estimate it to be from the 10th-12th century, but the inscription has not yet been fully deciphered.

7:44 am, 02 Apr 2009
Pimpim and Mongolian friendThe Japanese-language website Washington Japanese Women's Network (www.wjwn.org/) published an interview with THF's co-director Pimpim about her 15 years of work on heritage preservation.
11:30 am, 10 Feb 2009
On Monday December 8 André Alexander will give a presentation at the University of Leipzig, Institute of Central Asian Studies at 17.00. On December 4, he gave a presentation at Potsdam School of Architecture. On November 28-29 he gave a paper at "The Sacred World of Central Asia", a conference in Varsaw hosted by the Polish Society of Oriental Art and the Asia Pacific Museum.

The stupa's gokyim is lifted up for sealing the interior after filling it with incense, Kanjur and other newly-made items THF helped a local community in Trika county to rebuild a lost stupa, completely in traditional construction materials and style.

THF wins 2008 Global Vision AwardTravel + Leisure magazine awarded THF their 2008 Global Vision Award for Historic Preservation for the Leh Old Town conservation project. From the Jury: "By working with local artisans to restore the Leh Old Town, the Tibet Heritage Fund ensures that regional art and architecture techniques are not lost."
Model of the Central Asian Museum in Leh (D. Krüger)On August 22, the foundation stone was laid for the Central Asian Museum in old Leh. Leh's first museum-to-be was the brainchild of the Anjuman Society in Leh (the site owner), with whom THF had cooperated in 2007 to restore Leh's oldest mosque, and Intach J&K's Saleem Beg. The project is financed largely by the Jammu & Kashmir Ministry of Tourism. The museum is designed and being built by THF/LOTI.
Maitreya on the rocks at Khartse (Phuntsog Dorje)On July 11 THF opened an exhibit entitled "Early Buddhist Rock Sculptures of Ladakh"
by Phuntsog Dorjay (Ph.D). Phuntsog Dorjay has been travelling across Ladakh and Zanskar to document monumental early sculptures such as the well-known Mulbek and Khartse standing Maitreya Buddha-s, and he has also discovered a few previously unknown ones.

12:34 pm, 21 Jul 2008
Wildlife scenery, Domkhar sanctuary (Tashi lDawa)THF opens exhibition on Ladakh's petroglyphs in Lala's Gallery

A new UN publication, Poverty Reduction that Works, includes a paper by THF about our work in Lhasa and LadakhTHF contributed a paper to a new UN publication, Poverty Reduction that Works: Experience of Scaling Up Development Success. This is due to the inclusion of THF's Lhasa Old Town Project in UN-Habitat's list of projects with Best Practice for Improvement of the Living Environment.
6:01 am, 31 Aug 2008
UNESCO representative R. Engelhardt presents THF with awardUNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr. Richard Engelhardt, visited THF's Leh Old Town Conservation Project on May 3 2008 for a special award ceremony attended by local government representatives, community members, Ladakhi dignitaries and friends.

4:33 pm, 14 Dec 2007
The old and the new in Lhasa (J. Mueller)Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development of Historic Cities in Asia - Safeguarding traditions and ancient knowledge to promote development, Berlin 4.-5.12.2007, Berlin University of Technology and Humboldt University (program) (abstracts).
THF/LOTI's Leh Old Town Project, picture © Manpreet RomanaTHF/LOTI's Leh Old Town Project is featured on the AFP news website, text by Tripti Lahiri and pictures by Manpreet Romana.

THF survey of early Tibetan templeFrom November 26 to 30, THF's first chairman André Alexander teaches a compact course on Tibetan architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Berlin University of Technology.

THF at the 13th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh StudiesTHF Leh team managers André Alexander and Andreas Catanese have prepared a paper on the Leh Old Town for the 13th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, held in Rome 7-11 September 2007.
THF represented at Urban Sustainability conference organised by Berlin governmentTHF co-director André Alexander speaks at the Urban Sustainability Conference during the Asia-Pacific Weeks 2007. This annual event is organized by the Berlin Asia-Pacific Forum, and the conference takes place in Berlin's Townhall in Mitte district.

Many guests and local media came for the celebration of THF's projectAfter four years of work, THF co-director Pimpim de Azevedo and Mongolian partners and supporters have celebrated the completion of the Sangiin Dalai restoration project on September 1 2007. The celebration was attended by the governor of the South-Gobi region, the head lama of Ganden monastery in Ulan-Bator and many other guests.

Copyright IBNThe Indian News Channel IBN produced a video feature and a news item about THF's Leh Old Town Project.
Lundup Dorje delivers paper at Heritage Seminar in NapoliAs implementing partner to A.S.I.A. initiative to launch a campaign to discuss and raise awareness about sustainable development of Tibet's physical heritage, THF experts Lundrup Dorje, Christine Jürgens and André Alexander, and affiliated architect Beate Heyne participated in three day-long seminars in Napoli, Turino and Roma. They were joined by a number of Tibetan, Italian and European experts. Click here to view pictures of the events, and here to hear Lundup Dorje sing a Tibetan song during dinner time.
First Ladakhi wall-painting conservators trained by THF and TFH Erfurt now in GermanyDespite an abundance of historic (and often threatened) wall-paintings in Ladakh, there are no indigenous wall-painting restorers. Since 2005 THF has been training two Ladakhis students in basic skills and approaches to wall-painting conservation, in partnership with University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (TFH). In 2007, funded by Inwent, the two, Yangchen Dolma and Skarma Lotos, could go to Erfurt to be trained in the laboratories.
UN Habitat Dubai International Award for Best Practice for THFTHF's Leh Old Town Project has won a Best Practice Award for Improvement of the Living Environment, courtesy of Dubai Municipality and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN Habitat).
Demolition of Kamal Khan House in old LehThe World Monuments Fund has accepted THF's nomination of the Leh Old Town for inclusion in WMF's bi-annual list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites.
THF and WMF are currently discussing ways to cooperate to increase conservation activities in Leh.

THF restoration of Ragya MonasteryTHF, A.S.I.A., Universita degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale", Politecnico di Torino and Istituto Centrale per il Restauro di Roma organize three seminars on CULTURAL HERITAGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF HISTORICAL CITIES IN ASIA - Safeguarding traditions and ancient knowledge to promote development, as part of a EU-supported project, 18.20.22 June 2007.


3:58 pm, 08 Sep 2007
Buddhapurnima in Leh May 2007The birthday of the Buddha was celebrated in Leh with a huge procession around the town with all its monasteries and shrines.

12:28 pm, 14 Aug 2007
Springtime in Amdo with Yutaka, Lobsang, Choekyi and Andre.

Yutaka Hirako has joined the Qinghai team for new building restoration and mural conservation projects.

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