JAIC 1991, Volume 30, Number 1, Article 3 (pp. 13 to 34)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1991, Volume 30, Number 1, Article 3 (pp. 13 to 34)

THE OPENING OF CONSECRATED TIBETAN BRONZES WITH INTERIOR CONTENTS: SCHOLARLY, CONSERVATION, AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

CHANDRA L. REEDY


ABSTRACT—Tibetan Buddhist and Bon-pö statues are consecrated before being used for worship. During the ceremony, objects are often sealed inside hollow-cast pieces. Many types of objects have been found when statues were opened for museum study. Although statue contents comprise an interesting range of items, they were only rarely found to contain information relevant to the date or place of manufacture of a piece. Much time and expense are generally required to fully analyze and conserve the removed contents. A survey of Tibetan religious teachers revealed strong opinions that opening a statue is a desecration that cannot really be rectified. The conclusion of this research is that the data obtained from removing and studying statue contents are not useful enough to justify further statue openings.

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. CONSECRATION
3. OPENING OF STATUES AT THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
4. SURVEY OF TIBETAN PRACTITIONERS
5. CONCLUSIONS
a: References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright © 1991 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works