After a lot of planning and patiently waiting for the Icelandic ash cloud to clear, the 'Tale of the Bamboo Cutter' hand scrolls have finally arrived in the Restorient studio in Leiden, The Netherlands. Kristine Rose, senior conservator from the Chester Beatty Library delivered them safely over from Dublin.
The first task will be to record the current position of all the paintings and the calligraphic panels, (there has been the suggestion from Japanese scholars that the order in some places is not correct so further investigation will be necessary before we finally re-assemble the scrolls) followed by writing an appraisal of the condition of the two hand scrolls, noting all previous damage and repairs before our work begins. This invariably means taking far too many photographs under a range of lighting conditions such as transmitted and raking light as well as UV.
Its going to be a long journey (28.88 meters to be exact!) over the next two years and we will keep you posted as we progress.