The Walters Art Museum

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Lunch and Learn: Assessing the Damage-Japan's Tsunami-Ravaged Arts and Cultural Sites


Thursday, May 3, 2012


12:15 PM–01:15 PM

On March 11, 2011 Japan felt the impact of the magnitude 8.9 Tohoku earthquake and watched in horror as seaside towns and cities were devastated by the subsequent tsunami. The impact of this natural disaster on the arts was profound. In addition to destroying many famous historical sites in the Tohoku region, works of art in museums from Osaka in the south to Hokkaido in the north were toppled, damaged, or destroyed. A full catalog of the destruction within the arts community was started within weeks of the disaster, and restoration has begun at many important sites. In addition, new methods of protecting important works of art, cultural heritage sites, and historic monuments have emerged as a result of this tragic event.  Recounting his experience in Japan during and immediately after the earthquake, Robert Mintz, Chief Curator of Asian Art will address Japan’s preparedness for natural disasters, the lessons learned from this momentous event, and the status of reconstruction efforts within the arts and culture communities.