Paola Dematte awarded Asian Cultural Council grant
Paola Dematte’ (Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture) has been awarded a grant from the Asian Cultural Council for her ongoing documentation and planning for the conservation of the Xumishan archaeological zone which includes over 130 Buddhist grottoes spread over a two kilometer area in China’s northwestern Ningxia province. The grottoes and temples, dating from the 5th to the 15th century, contain polychrome statues, paintings and inscribed steles, which are endangered by natural and man-made threats that run the gamut from torrential rains, wind and sand erosion, earthquakes, neglect, and vandalism. The project will establish an international collaboration with local and national Chinese agencies to address immediate conservation challenges and to develop a long-term preservation plan. Demattè’s colleague Ioanna Kakoulli (Associate Professor, Material Science and Conservation, UCLA – Getty Conservation Program) will focus on conserving the archaeological zone’s extensive and especially vulnerable wall paintings.