LATIN AMERICAN ART & ARCHITECTURE
In spring 2017 the MOSAIKON project team, in collaboration with the Direction du Patrimoine Culturel and the Ministry of Culture of Morocco, carried out the first module of a training course for ten mosaic conservation technicians at the archaeological site of Volubilis, Morocco.
The focus was documentation, including creating graphic and photographic bases for recording mosaic conditions, followed by mapping conditions on different thematic plans. Photographic recording and archiving of documentation were also covered. The fourweek-long course included classroom training and guided practical work on-site. Participants will carry out a program of documentation on different mosaics in the Maison d’Orphee at Volubilis before the second module begins in fall 2017. Modules presented over the next two years will focus on conservation treatments for in situ mosaics, mosaics detached and relaid on site, and mosaics in storage, as well as conservation treatments for wall plasters, wall remains, and zellige, the traditional North African glazed-tile mosaic technique.
A new MOSAIKON course for archaeological site managers began in May 2017, also at Volubilis. This is the third in a series of regional training courses dedicated to the conservation and management of archaeological sites with mosaics in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. This new course, carried out in partnership with the Direction du Patrimoine Culturel of Morocco, targeted French speakers from the region and included nineteen archaeologists and architects from Algeria, Cyprus, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Led by the GCI and taught by ten international experts, the course topics included conservation history and theory, site management planning, documentation, condition assessment, and various conservation approaches from stabilization and reburial to site presentation and interpretation. Volubilis provided a living classroom for lectures and hands-on exercises that helped place mosaics conservation in the broader context of site management concerns, such as visitation, urban encroachment, and development pressures. The course emphasized multidisciplinary work, long-term planning, and decision-making based on prioritization of needs and available resources. Because this course overlapped with the training at Volubilis for mosaic conservation technicians, there were opportunities for the two groups to meet and better understand their complementary roles in the conservation of sites with mosaics.
The second component of the course is under way. Guided by course instructors, the participants are developing individual projects at their home sites and institutions. In the final component of the course, participants will meet in about a year to share experiences, deepen knowledge and skills, and strengthen their community of practice.