Courses in Jordan, Lebanon focus on conservation of mosaics

September 19, 2022 / 4:00 PM
Sharjah 24: The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) have announced they will hold two advanced training courses in Jordan and Lebanon focused on the conservation of mosaics in the region.
These intensive trainings are among the final courses of the MOSAIKON initiative, a collaboration of the GCI, the Getty Foundation, ICCROM, and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). Since 2008, MOSAIKON has trained over 200 conservation professionals from countries of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, all of whom conducted research and model field projects as part of their training. 

“MOSAIKON was created with the principal goal of promoting best practices for mosaic conservation at archaeological sites, museums, and storage facilities throughout the Mediterranean region,” said Jeanne Marie Teutonico, associate director at the GCI. “After over a decade of courses and field work, the initiative has established an extensive network of dedicated mosaic conservation professionals, all of whom we hope will share the knowledge and skill attained in their trainings to mentor future generations.” 

Each course is taught by experts in the field to ensure the highest quality in theoretical and practical training.

“ICCROM is honoured to have helped regional professionals conserve and manage archaeological sites with mosaics through 14 years of MOSAIKON experience and ICCROM’s partnership through its ATHAR Programme,” said Zaki Aslan, Director of the Regional Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab World (ICCROM - Sharjah). “Despite this initiative coming to a close, our dedication to its mission and objectives, and supporting regional collaboration with Member States in the Mediterranean, will continue.” 

MOSAIKON Advanced Training on Preventive Conservation Measures for Archaeological Sites with Mosaics: Shelters & Reburial
September 18 to September 30, 2022

In partnership with GCI and ICCROM, the Department of Antiquities of Jordan will hold a two-week course based in Amman, Jordan that will focus on two strategic and sustainable approaches to conserving archaeological sites: the use of protective shelters and reburial. Using the archaeological sites of Jerash, Um al Rasas, and Madaba as outdoor classrooms, and taking advantage of the wealth of mosaic heritage in Jordan, course participants will learn these complex techniques that can help achieve more stable environments for fragile historic remains, such as mosaics.

“Increasing the local expertise of professionals capable of managing and conserving cultural heritage, particularly archaeological sites, is of the utmost importance as we face a multitude of challenges in the field such as rapid urban development, threats from climate change, and simply not enough resources,” said Professor Fadi Bala’wi, the Director General at Department of Antiquities of Jordan. “This course will help Jordanians and other heritage professionals from the region gain a better understanding of the complexities and opportunities of preventive practices such as sheltering and reburial, which are key to the preservation of our heritage.”

While previous MOSAIKON courses on archaeological site conservation covered a suite of topics, from documentation to site presentation, this course will provide more in-depth information on shelters and reburial as sustainable and preventive conservation practices. The two-week course will cover the decision-making process of these practices from feasibility to implementation, all within the context of a conservation management framework.

Eighteen participants from 10 countries—Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, and Tunisia—were chosen to participate in the course. Most of the participants completed one of the three previous MOSAIKON courses held in Tyre, Lebanon in 2010, Paphos, Cyprus in 2014, and Volubilis, Morocco in 2017, or possessed similar training. Participants were chosen based on their performance in previous courses and their ability to apply and disseminate the approaches taught.

MOSAIKON Training Worksite for the Conservation of Mosaics in Storage
October 10 to November 4, 2022

In partnership with GCI and ICCROM, the Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon (DGA) will hold a four-week course based in Sidon, Lebanon that will focus on the conservation of mosaics in storage. This course will convene six DGA employees and five government employees from Libya and Jordan to enhance the capacity of authorities in the Middle East and North Africa to conserve important mosaic heritage. Lessons and practical exercises will be conducted using examples from a large collection of lifted mosaics from downtown Beirut that have been stored in Sidon since 1998.

“Mosaics are increasingly threatened by modern construction, looting, and a lack of trained professionals to support much needed conservation and maintenance work both onsite and in storage facilities,” said Sarkis Al KhourI, the Director General at Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon. “Lebanon was one of the first destinations for MOSAIKON courses and these trainings have greatly expanded our local expertise needed to manage ongoing issues.”

Participating conservation technician trainees will study methodology for documenting and conserving lifted mosaics using lime mortars to stabilize and re-back them, along with preventive measures to store them long-term. The training worksite complements an earlier MOSAIKON course held at the site of Volubilis, Morocco in 2018, in which trained technician-level practitioners learned similar techniques to document and conserve lifted mosaics left in storage for decades without adequate stabilization treatments.
September 19, 2022 / 4:00 PM

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