Training workshops at the Khalifa House Museum

Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan

         As part of the Community Museums conservation Omdurman, Al Obeid and Nyala, With the support of the British Council (The Cultural Protection Fund), ICCROM, in collaboration with project partners: the Centre for Heritage Studies, McDonald- Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Mallinson Architects and the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums in Sudan (NCAM), has successfully concluded a series of practical training workshops between 17Sept and 16Oct. these workshops aimed at raising local Sudanese expertise and competencies in the fields of preservation and documentation of historical buildings and museum collections, evaluating and diagnosing the state of the pieces stored in warehouses. The first workshop focused on the collection of flint stones stored in the museum’s warehouse as it was reclassified, documented, evaluated and set in an improved storage condition. The workshop was attended by six Sudanese trainees.


       The second workshop focused on the techniques and documentation of museum collections, especially traditional weapons. Participants learned the best conservation methods and evaluated the pieces presented and stored, and noted their state of conservation and causes of deterioration. The third workshop dealt with the museum collection presented at Khalifa House, it’s state of conservation and diagnostic analysis of it condition and the most important preliminary measures to protect it in preparation for transfer to temporary warehouses during the restoration work that will be located on the building of the historic Khalifa House. The final workshop held from 6-17th October and focused on the architectural conservation of Khalifa’s house, where twenty-one trainees from Sudan with diverse backgrounds (museum curators, photographers, architects, and museum directors) and previous experiences in conservation participated. They were trained on preparing an architectural conservation file; architectural documentation, building materials identification, condition survey, mapping deterioration and also include recommendations for interventions, adaptations and use. The training was accompanied by field tests and experiments to identify adequate components of a traditional mortar that would be used in later conservation works as well as experiencing treatment techniques for wall cracks, humidity and termites. Probes in walls and floors were used to detect building materials as well as previous interventions.


     Trainers and experts’ team has also visited the city of Al-Obeid to explore the museum’s building, collection and stores, also to investigate the historic portal of the Modiria building that has been subject to an urgent consolidation co-financed by ICCROM-Sharjah and Prince Claus Fund. The team also held a meeting with representatives from local community and bodies of interest in the cultural heritage of Al-Obeid in order to discuss the community’s vision for the museum and the possibilities to vitalize its social and cultural function. The team would be responsible for taking the output of this meeting into consideration in subsequent work. The training courses were supervised by a joint team from ICCROM experts and the General Authority for Antiquities and Museums of Sudan.

Khalifa House: Detecting plastering layers and investigating components and colors of each historical layer