Red Maitreya Temple

Red Maitreya Temple

The Red Maitreya temple (Byams pa dmar po) was built by king Tragspa Bumde (r. ca. 1400-1440). During the Dogra invasion of the 1840s it was damaged but restored soon after. Romanian restorer Anca Nicolaescu in the Red Maitreya templeIn the late 1950s, because of water damage to the north wall, the Ladakh Buddhist association rebuilt the main hall to smaller scale, leaving only the original north and west walls standing to form an outer corridor around a new and smaller Maitreya hall (around what is believed to be the original 15th century three-storey clay Maitreya image). The wall-paintings were painted over with white-wash at the time. The distinct red tower of the Maitreya temple and the white assembly hall building can be seen on the picture above right. Documentation of the recovered 15th century paintings on the west wallIn late 2005, while surveying the building for some minor roof repair, project manager André Alexander rediscovered the 15th century wall-paintings underneath the white-wash. Together with Romanian restorer Anca Nicolaescu and students from the conservation department of the Technical University of Erfurt, the wall-paintings were successfully recovered and stabilized. THF and Erfurt have now formalized their cooperation with an MOU, and Erfurt will regularly supply students and equipment. The 2007 team on the roof of the Red Maitreya templeIn 2006-2007, restorer Anca Nicolaescu, six Erfurt conservation students, Hannah Pohle, Derya Pektas, Olga Emgrund, Jana Bulir, Jovana Glaß, Rebekka Ewert and Anke Jana Farnik, and Belgian student Sonia Cabela completed the recovery and conservation of the Red Maitreya temple's wall-paintings. In 2008, Anca Nicolaescu completed the final presentation of the main images in the north-west corner. A small exhbition about the work is under preparation.

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