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Buddhadharma : Fall 2013
22 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY FALL 2 0 1 3 These days many Buddhist practitioners have some form of sacred Buddhist art in their home, perhaps a thangka, a framed print or calligraphy, a Buddha statue, or other treasures to inspire their meditation practice. The dharma centers they attend also contain various assort- ments of sacred art. The term “sacred art” can feel weighty and elicit reactions ranging from awe to trepidation ANN SHAFTEL is a preservation consultant and conservator specializing in Buddhist art. Her clients include museums, governments, universities, and Buddhist monasteries around the world. when it comes to its care and ownership. As an art conservator specializing in the preservation of Buddhist art, I have been asked thousands of questions about these treasures. The question I care least about is, “How much is it worth?” A question that I carefully respond to is, “How can I care for this treasure so it will survive to inspire future generations? Basic preservation principles are practical in nature and consist of factors you can control and those you cannot. You can wisely decide to place a painting, calligraphy, or sculpture in a safer location; for example, away from direct sun- light, bright lamps, and fluorescent lights; away from a heating duct or source; not in a basement or attic; and not in the hands of an untrained framer or restorer. These are choices over which you have some control. Factors outside of your What Are You Doing to Protect Your Buddhist Treasures? Ann Shaftel says there are many things we can and must do to preserve sacred Buddhist art. LET’S TALK KATHERINECLAHASSEY