Wednesday 16 December 2009
Your brief obituary of Ikuo Hirayama (12 December) made no mention of his philanthropic role in the UK,
writes Andrew Oddy, retired Keeper of Conservation, British Museum.
Among other interests, about 15 years ago he generously gave the British Museum the not insubstantial sum required to convert what had been originally built as a Victorian savings bank into a state-of-the-art studio for the conservation of oriental art on paper and silk. With a floor of tatami matting and low-level work benches imported from Japan, the Hirayama Studio is by far the best traditional Japanese-style studio outside Japan and, with its generous floor space and clever combination of daylight and artificial light, it is undoubtedly better than many of those in that country.
He subsequently sponsored a Japanese master scroll mounter to work in the studio for four years and pass on his expertise to English colleagues. This generosity broke new ground by making available a substantial sum for a behind-the-scenes facility which, although it bears the Hirayama name, is almost never seen by the public at large.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...