A community heritage grant will help preserve a unique Ballarat Chinese lion, which belongs to one of the world’s oldest collections of Chinese processional objects.
The Sovereign Hill Museums Association was awarded the $9000 federal government grant to fund the conservation treatment of the lion.
The lion is part of the Ballarat Joss House processional assemblage which includes dragons and exquisite silk textile.
The dragon and lion are the oldest documented examples in Australia.
Gold Museum senior curator Michelle Smith said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the Chinese processional assemblage at the grassroots level.
“This is the first part of the Chinese processional assemblage to receive conservation treatment under the ‘Awaken the Dragon’ fundraising appeal,” Ms Smith said.
“The appeal is continuing to seek funds to conserve the Ballarat Chinese dragon, Australia’s oldest dragon, as well as other elements of the assemblage, including silk banners and costumes.”
The University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation will undertake the work on the lion.
Grants worth $367,470 were distributed to 60 community groups and organisations across Australia to assist in the identification and preservation of community owned but nationally significant heritage collections.