Project Update ‘Painting for Preservation’

Rock Art ‘Painting for Preservation’ Project in collaboration with my Altai colleague Ruslana Taptigina (long term project)



If present trends continue, in a matter of just a few years the destruction of rock art heritage in the Altai Republic will be a foregone cultural tragedy. These ancient images are being covered with contemporary graffiti and often the top layer of the rock surface is lifted off and the petroglyph sold on the black market. Preservation systems are few and far between in Russia and so sites that are world cultural heritage are amazingly being destroyed before our very eyes.

 The ‘Painting for Preservation’ project is an attempt to draw on the aesthetic potential and sheer beauty of rock art in a range of awareness-raising activities in the hope that this will generate support for the preservation of rock art sites. As most people know, I have a passion for rock art in Altai and have painted a series of images inspired by petroglyphs from the internationally renowned ‘Kalbak-Tash’ site. Ruslana and I have agreed that these paintings could be used as gift material to launch the ‘Painting for Preservation’ project.

We aim to: produce printed gift material to draw attention to the project; create a mini-launch for the project at the opening of the new visitor’s Centre at the ‘Kalbak-Tash’ site; present the ‘Painting for Preservation’ project at the International Rock Art Conference in Kemerevo, August 2011; encourage children to visit and re-draw rock art images in the same way that the WWF encourages children to draw snow leopards as part of their awareness-raising policy; compile a children’s ‘Painting for Preservation’ wild animals ‘rock art colouring book’ and instruction booklet for teachers that can be used in schools and by visitors; encourage renowned archaeologists to raise the issue of preservation in Altai.

I aim to raise £500 to launch the ‘Painting for Preservation Project’. Interested in the Altai Pilgrim Friendship Circle? See Project’s Page to find out more.

(Photo: Contemporary interpretation of a deer image originally carved into the rock surface at Kalbak-Tash sanctuary, Altai by Joanna Dobson).

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One response to “Project Update ‘Painting for Preservation’

  1. I was there in 96 or 98 when there was no visitors’ centre, nor any kind of signs.

    I remember in particular the alcove with the dragon at the top, and a figure we called “mushroom-head”. Do you know what that alcove was used for?

    Also right at the top lots of figures wearing tartan. That kind of surprised me.

    Any detailed information you can point me to would be most welcome.

    Keep up the good work,

    Ken Hyder

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