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The Nako Research and Preservation Project (NRPP) has studied and preserved a group of 12th C. Buddhist temples in the village of Nako in the Western Himalaya (Kinnaur, Indian state of Himachal Pradesh). Among the concepts of the NRPP has been the task of investigating and analysing the indigenous building techniques and the traditional artistic handicrafts, which have ensured the long existence of these exquisite monuments, and to integrate these aspects into their regular preservation while taking into account the local economic and technological resources. The NRPP is considered a model for the future conservation and preservation of the cultural heritage of this region. The villagers have supported and contributed to the efforts and aims of the NRPP in regard to the protection of the historic cultural heritage. In the spring of 2007, a consecration ritual in the restored temples of Nako will be held by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
The preservation program is based on an international cooperation between the local villagers of Nako, members of the interdisciplinary research group "The Cultural History of the Western Himalaya" at the University of Vienna, Institute for Art History (Director: Prof. Dr. Klimburg-Salter), the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Conservation Department (Prof. Dr. G. Krist, Prof. Dr. E. Bacher), and a number of well-known architects (including Romi Khosla Design Studios/ New Delhi). The focus of the NRPP has been the scientific documentation and analysis of the 900-year-old temple complex (art and cultural history, architecture, philology, anthropology, economics).
Conservation work is largely funded by the World Monuments Fund, New York, the Robert W. Wilson Challenge Grant as well as the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. The restoration of the historical substance of temples under the most modern scientific conservation methods has as its goal preservation of the Buddhist temple complex, in its social, cultural and ritual context, for future generations.
This section of the exhibition presents a view of the landscape, culture and art of the region, as well as the work of the Indian and Austrian conservation team in Nako.
At the Lichthof A of the University of Applied Arts Vienna
Opening Hours: Every Day 9.00am - 9.00pm
Extended until 30th of March 2006