A gallery in Saitama Prefecture has launched a fundraising campaign to preserve its main exhibit — a series of large panels depicting the horrors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — in the face of damage caused by insects, ultraviolet rays and grit and dust.

Marking the 50th anniversary of its establishment on May 5, the Maruki Gallery for the Hiroshima Panels also plans to set up archives to collect documents about Iri and Toshi Maruki, the husband-and-wife duo that created the 15 panels, to make the work more accessible to the public.

“We now face difficulties in maintaining the Hiroshima Panels, a representative painting of the 20th century,” Yukinori Okamura, a curator at the gallery said of the exhibit, which has been shown around the world. “It is a great challenge to hand down the common heritage of mankind to the next generation, looking ahead to the next 50 years.”