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Summary of Week1

Summary of Week1
Niikura: In Week 1, we learned about how difficult it is to preserve and inherit cultural properties, and as a case study, learned about the problem of relocating the Noguchi Room. What did you think about this?
Kirishima: This was not just a collaboration by a world-famous sculptor and architect. For Noguchi, it was the first spatial design he created, and it had great value both as a cultural property and as a work of art. Even outstanding properties like this are sometimes destroyed.
Niikura: Yes, that’s true. What we learn from the case of the Noguchi Room is that no matter how valuable a cultural property is, it will be hard to protect it if its value is not widely shared. To prevent that, it is essential to raise awareness of the value of cultural properties. As we’ve seen thus far, the Keio University Art Center is currently engaged in various activities to raise awareness of the value of cultural properties, including promoting use of the Ex-Noguchi Room.
Kirishima: In the Keio University Architecture Project, we are also showcasing on-campus buildings other than the Ex-Noguchi Room. There are many buildings with historical and artistic value at Keio University, so these activities to protect cultural properties are extremely important.
Niikura: In the case of buildings, use is linked with preservation, but it can be difficult to strike a balance the two. However, if we give up, the value of properties will be forgotten, and the chance of properties being destroyed will increase, so we have to continue both preservation and use while monitoring their balance.

What did you think of Week 1? Please describe your impressions in the Comments section.

Communicating and raising awareness of value is essential for preserving cultural properties. To that end, we need diverse approaches for utilizing cultural properties and raising awareness. Going inside and using a building is indispensable for recognizing its value, and thus utilization is perhaps the simplest and most effective form of awareness-raising. On the other hand, we have to recognize that buildings are damaged by such use.

We need to share the value of cultural properties while striking a balance with preservation. We can do this by establishing reasonable rules, having as many people as possible use a property, and at the same time continuing preservation and restoration work.

In Week 2, we’ll look in more detail at activities in this area by the Keio University Art Center. We’ll examine activities pertaining to the Ex-Noguchi Room, as well as efforts to preserve and restore furniture. By looking at how a cultural property is protected and its value is communicated, you will see that inheritance of cultural properties is not something that happens on its own, and that you can participate in preservation of cultural properties through awareness-raising and public access.

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Invitation to Ex-Noguchi Room: Preservation and Utilization of Cultural Properties in Universities

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