Bodhisattva, 15th century, Leh Red Maitreya Temple, mural recovered from white-washed wall by THF in 2006THF's wall-painting conservation programs has four main aims:

research and identify historic wall-painting technologies used within the Tibetan cultural realm

train local restorers

help to preserve endangered historic wall-paintings

restore historic wall-paintings so that the needs of local Buddhist practitioners can be met while also adhering to international practices of distinguishability and reversability

The program is carried out in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt (TFH) (thanks to Prof. Meinhard Landmann and Suzy Hesse), German restorers Christine and Patrick Jürgens and Romanian restorer Anca Nicolaescu. Uli Eltgen and Ute Griesser have in the past also been involved.

Currently THF has five trainees, in Ladakh Yangchen Dolma, Skarma Lotus and Samsten; and in Qinghai Ms Choekyi and Shardruktso. Two of the Ladakhi students have spent three months at the Erfurt University (TFH) in 2007, learning how to work with tools and technologies in the conservation laboratories.

Current and recently completed THF wall-painting conservation projects include the Leh Guru Lhakhang (2004-2005), the Leh Red Maitreya Temple (2005-2008) and the Alchi Tsatsapuri Temple (2006-on-going) in Ladakh, the Achung Namdzong cave temple (2005-2006) and Ragya Monastery's Gyupa Dratsang (2003-2006) in Qinghai. Patrick Jürgens has prepared a summary report of the 2008 intervention in Alchi Tsatsapuri.
A new project is the conservation of the wall-paintings in the Amdo Serkhang monastery.

Ladakh Guru Lhakhang restoration team 05: Suzy Hesse, Yangchen, Skarma and DanielPhoto: the Ladakh Wall-painting conservation team 2005. Suzy Hesse from Erfurt University of Applied Sciences with the two trainees Yangchen and Skarma and volunteer Daniel.

Anca Nicolaescu working on 15th-century wall-paintings in the Leh Red Maitreya TemplePhoto: Anca Nicolaescu investigating the 15th century wall-paintings in the Red Maitreya Temple in Leh.

Christine Jürgens cleaning murals in Achung NamdzongPhoto below: Christine Jürgens cleaning and stabilizing murals in the Achung Namdzong cave in Qinghai.

Christine Jürgens has also prepared a toolkit for THF's wall-painting program, and we plan to publish here the results of our research of wall-painting technologies, such as pigment analysis and analysis of composition of painting layers.

Copyright, Tibet Heritage Fund