Standing still and quiet behind panes of glass that separate her only inches from an onlooking group of curious visitors, Molly Gleeson focuses intensely on a small, irregular-shaped fragment of ancient wood. Donned in light-weight blue lab attire and blue nitrile gloves, she carefully and meticulously treats and prepares a small piece of wood from a fragmentary coffin excavated in 1901.
Gleeson is the Rockwell Project Conservator in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s popular “mummy” lab, otherwise known simply as the Artifact Lab. Today, she and her colleagues are doing things that could be described as small miracles of ‘healing’—what is broken or faded or tainted with the ravages of time can be, in a very real sense, made whole again—at least as much as can be realistically expected. (source)
Activists are angry with Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, Mamdouh Eldamaty, for choosing to re-hire a company to restore one of Egypt’s oldest pyramids after the firm caused damage and major deterioration to the structure while trying to repair it.
According to the Non-Stop Robberies movement, the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, located in the Saqqara necropolis, sustained serious damage while being restored by a company called Shurbagy. This led to major deterioration and the collapse of a section of the pyramid.
"New walls were built outside the pyramid as if the pyramid were a modern construction, which is opposite to international standards of restoration, which prevents adding more than 5% of construction to antiquities if necessary. Read more.
While Turkish land is enriched by the historical sites of 206 ancient amphitheaters, most of which are left from Roman and Byzantine times, they are being mistreated by poor and haphazard restoration methods.
Turkey is fortunate to sit astride lands which were once part of the Roman and Byzantine empires. By virtue of this fact, the country has the world’s richest collection of ancient amphitheaters. According to some sources, there are 206 such ancient theaters in Turkey that are left from the Roman period. This figure is much greater than in any other country. However, the attention these precious monuments receive from the authorities is scant, while the recent restoration work carried out at these cultural sites shows obvious signs of the mistreatment to which they have been subject. Read more.
NAPLES - Amalfi authorities greenlit the restoration of a 4th-century sarcophagus and two 16th-century statues found in a former Capuchin monastery, officials said Tuesday. The sarcophagus was recycled in the 13th century by local aristocracy, who decorated it with their coat of arms, then used as an altar in 1934.
Probably made by a Cistercian monk, the two tuff and polychrome plaster statues come from the Puglia region, and were discovered in a cave in Amalfi’s Capuchin convent. They represent Saint Peter and Saint John the Evangelist, and are part of a group of five characters that also includes Christ, an Angel and Saint Jacob.
”This shows the administration’s will to invest in preserving the city’s cultural assets”, said Daniele Milano, the town council member for tourism and culture. (source)
ATHENS - The Central Archaeological Council (KAS) of the Greek ministry for culture and tourism has given green light to the restoration of the ancient theatre of Delos, one of the most important religious centres of ancient Greece, an islands of the Cyclades where Apollo, god of light, was born according to mythology. It is no coincidence that the centre of the theatre, the orchestra, is considered to be the brightest point in the Mediterranean in a study of the University of Athens. The ancient theatre of Delos is one of the few that were completely built in marble. Its construction started around 314 BC and ended around 70 years later, in 250 BC. In 88 BC, the theatre, which has a capacity of up to 6,500 spectators, was abandoned after the Mithridates plundered the island. Today, exactly 2,100 years later, the Central Archaeological Council approved a project for the restoration of the monument. Read more.
London (CNN) — It sits in the ancient heart of Rome and is an emblem of the city’s imperial history as well as an icon of Italy.
But plans to restore Rome’s nearly 2,000-year-old Colosseum are causing rumblings among heritage workers and restorers, compounded by reports in December that small amounts of powdery rock had fallen off the monument.
The current $33 million (25 million euro) restoration plans to restore the Flavian amphitheater, which once hosted spectacular shows and gruesome gladiatorial battles, are being sponsored by Diego della Valle, of luxury Italian brand Tod’s, in exchange for advertising rights.
Restoration of the monument, which attracts up to two million visitors a year, is due to go ahead in March and will involve cleaning of the travertine exterior, the restoration of underground chambers, new gating, the moving of visitor service stations to an area outside of the building itself and increased video security. Read more.
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — A tsunami-damaged ancient Hawaiian stone platform used for worship has been restored.
Ahuena Heiau, Inc. is a nonprofit organization of volunteers from West Hawaii serving as primary caretakers of the heiau. The group says the year-long effort to restore the heiau in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island involved 3,000 hours of volunteer service. The heiau is on the grounds of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, which suffered damage from the tsunami triggered by the March 11 earthquake in Japan. The heiau is also on the national and state registers of historic places.
Many believe it to be one of the most culturally significant sites inHawaii.
The project was funded in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. (source)
The Qutb Shahi kings can rest in peace. Their final abode is in for restoration at last. The Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has come forward to take up conservation and landscape restoration of the Qutb Shahi Tombs complex. A formal MoU is expected to be signed between the AKTC and the State Department of Archaeology.
After successful restoration of the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, this will be the second heritage site to be developed by AKTC in India. The Historic Cities Programme of AKTC aims at conservation of best of Islamic architecture and traditions across the world.
Not just the cluster of seven Qutb Shahi tombs, but all the 150 graceful structures in the 130 acre royal necropolis will be restored in a way that can spur social, economic and cultural development. The grand mausoleums, including that of City founder, Mohd Quli Qutb Shah, are known for elaborate and intricate architecture. Read more.