HIROSHIMA -- The Hiroshima Municipal Government showed ongoing Atomic Bomb Dome preservation work to the media on Jan. 27.
This is the fifth renovation work on the structure also known as Hiroshima Peace Memorial, what used to be the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, since the site was destroyed by the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Aug. 6, 1945.
In addition to repairing brick walls and window frames, the weathered whitish steel parts of the dome-shaped roof and other parts of the structure are being painted rusty brown -- their color right after they were bombed -- based on colored-photos taken by the U.S. military immediately after the bombing.
The preservation work on the World Heritage site began in September 2020, the 75th year after the bombing. Some 70% of the work is apparently completed, and the project is slated to end in March this year.
The first Atomic Bomb Dome preservation project was carried out in fiscal 1967, and further restoration work was done in fiscal 1989, 2002 and 2015.
The structure was designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel (1880-1925) and opened to the public in 1915. The atomic bomb detonated some 160 meters away from the site and instantly killed some 30 people who were inside the building, including workers at the Chugoku-Shikoku regional public works branch office of the then Home Ministry.
(Japanese original by Isamu Gari, Hiroshima Bureau)