The Getty Conservation Institute and the Institut National du Patrimoine in Tunisia are collaborating on a program to train technicians to stabilize and maintain mosaics in situ. The program is part of a larger GCI project that addresses a number of important issues related to the conservation and management of ancient mosaics in situ.

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The training in Tunisia is taking place at the archaeological site of Utica. Participants are working on the mosaics of a Roman villa—the Maison de la Cascade—that dates from the first century. The first training campaign, conducted in March and April 2001, focused on documentation methods, ranging from the recording of construction techniques to the documentation of the current condition of the mosaics.

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This first phase was fundamental for the planning and the recording of the practical work that was carried out during the second campaign in May and June 2001. During the second campaign, trainees had the opportunity to study various treatments in more detail, to learn which materials were appropriate to use for in situ conservation, and to continue documentation of current conservation work. In order to maintain the continuity of the work, trainees are carrying on the documentation and conservation treatments between campaigns.

The training program in Tunisia will conclude with a final campaign, currently planned for October and November 2001.