ARCE Hits the Road, Visits Three Local Chapters Find us
The first week of February was a whirlwind of activity for ARCE's Associate Director, Michael Jones, and Director of Development, Dina Aboul Saad. The two staff members made a three-city tour of local ARCE chapters, where Jones delivered a series of lectures on some of ARCE's recent Egyptian conservation projects.
Jones, who is based in Cairo, has worked for ARCE since 1996, directing several ARCE heritage conservation projects including at the Ottoman Fort at Quseir, and St. Anthony's and St. Paul's Monasteries, (Red Sea Region); The "Red Monastery" (Sohag); the Tomb of Sety I (Valley of the Kings); Archaeological Monitoring of the Groundwater Lowering Project in Old Cairo; and the Roman Paintings Conservation Project in the Luxor Temple.
The first stop was the Chicago ARCE chapter, where Jones delivered a lecture to a capacity audience at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute on February 4. The lecture, "Tracing Roman Luxor: The ARCE Conservation Project to Save the Roman Frescoes," detailed ARCE's three-year integrated conservation project of the remaining Roman wall paintings from a 3rd century Roman legionary shrine within Luxor Temple. The intricate frescoes are thought to be the finest Roman paintings surviving in Egypt.
The conservation work was part of ARCE's USAID-funded heritage conservation program, and was carried out in collaboration with Chicago House. During the lecture, Jones discussed the history and results of this project while displaying stunning images of the Roman frescoes both before and after conservation. He also addressed the conservation issues now facing the newly cleaned paintings.
On February 7 Jones and Aboul Saad visited Baltimore, where Jones took part in a research symposium at the Walters Art Museum, co-sponsored by the Washington D.C. chapter of ARCE and The Walters. The symposium's focus was "Preserving Egyptian Cultural Heritage," and it included a discussion by Jones of ARCE's major USAID-funded conservation projects; a review of progress on the Mut Temple Precinct by Johns Hopkins University professor Richard Jasnow; and a discussion of museum object conservation by Julie Lauffenburger, senior object conservator at The Walters.
The well-attended symposium was graciously hosted by Curator of Ancient Art, Regine Schulz. An active question and answer session wrapped up the forum and helped illuminate the speakers' points even further.
The final stop on the tour was the Pennsylvania ARCE chapter in Philadelphia, where Jones spoke to an attentive crowd at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology about the Roman Wall Painting project. In addition to discussing the paintings themselves, Jones spoke to the complexities of cultural heritage management vis à vis the sustainability of heritage and its display and presentation in the face of the inevitable changes constantly affecting the historic environment and its modern inhabitants.
"The best thing about this lecture series was the opportunity it gave us to spend time with members of the local chapters," said Aboul Saad. "While Michael and I were thrilled to get a chance to share information about ARCE's latest work in Egypt, the real treat for us was interacting with ARCE members in their local chapter settings."
The lecture series was such a success that several more chapter visits are in the works. If you are interested in having an ARCE staff member speak at a chapter event, please contact Dina Aboul Saad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF MUSEUMS
The International Council of Museums, in an effort to fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods, compiles the Emergency Red List of Egyptian Cultural Objects at Risk. This list aims to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify Egyptian objects that are protected by national and international legislations. View the Red List for Egypt.