It is one of ICCROM-ATHAR’s core values to support, co-ordinate, and facilitate technical advice when requested by the Arab states in the fields of conservation and management. This has led to several restoration and conservation field projects in the Arab world supervised by experts and specialists in the field affiliated with ICCROM-ATHAR and partner institutes to provide the best possible advice and knowledge in such projects.
(ICCROM-ATHAR) and the Sharjah Institute for Heritage recently completed the structural consolidation studies needed in order to consolidate and preserve the traditional wind tower of the Ibrahim Al Midfa house in the Heart of Sharjah, which was currently in a dangerous leaning state. This wind tower (Barjeel) is unique from an architectural point of view due to its cylindrical design.
As part of ICCROM-ATHAR’s advisory services and dedication to serving its Member States, the Regional Conservation Centre brought in expert Ayman Harzallah from the Italian SPCengineering firm to visit a leaning windtower in the heart of historic Sharjah to provide expertise to the consolidation and conservation project.
In coordination with the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and the National Council for Tourism and Antiquities, a team of ICCROM’s international experts, along with local experts working with the Department of Antiquities in Umm Al-Quwain, completed the execution of the restoration and conservation of Ad-Dour Archaeological site located in Umm Al-Quwain, UAE. Finalised by end of April 2016, this project restored the temple and the surrounding altars to the condition in which they were discovered during the 1980s. The restoration work was based on full historic documentation, as well as on field and scientific tests, meanwhile complying with international conservation standards.
Dr. Zaki Alslan The director of ICCROM-ATHAR along with Mr.Anwar Sabik overlooked the project management, implemented 3D scanning, and managed intervention processes in accordance with international conservation methodologies.
The project primarily resulted in consolidating the temple and the altars, and preventing the loss of their features, as well as training a national team on performing detailed conservation works with the aim of preparing them to undertake future maintenance for the temple. This project gained prominent attention from scientific and media sectors.
(Saint Theodore’s church (Mar Tadros) was listed as a historic monument in Lebanon in 1966. Built in the eleventh century, it is located on the top of a hill at around550 meters above sea level,10 kilo meters northeast of Byblos(Jbeil). The church is the property of the Archdiocese of Jbeil (Byblos), but its preservation is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture Directorate General of Antiquities.
The restoration project of the frescoes of Saint Theodore’s church (Mar Tadros) in Bahdidat (Jbeil district) started in2009 in the framework of ICCROM-ATHAR under the supervision of Ms. Isabelle Doumet Skaf, director of Conservation SARL Company, and the management of Dr. Zaki Aslan, representing ICCROM-ATHAR. The team working on the project included four Lebanese conservators: Isabelle Doumet Skaf, Nathalie Hanna, Badr Jabbour Gedeon and Ghada Salem – the latter two were former ATHAR Programme trainees – and three Italian experts, namely, Giorgio Capriotti, Caterina Michelini Tocci, and Sylvia Tribolati.
At the beginning of the restoration work, the state of conservation of the frescoes was alarming despite efforts to prevent water infiltration into the building. Interventions included simple cleaning (i.e. scalpel, brushes), chemical cleaning using organic solutions and consolidation by injection, treatment of micro-organisms, dried soluble and insoluble salts. Waterproofing of the roof was also redone and repointing of the façade was executed to reduce water seepage and ensure long-term protection of the paintings in the church. Mortars and pigments were analyzed to obtain additional information on the ancient techniques used by local painters in medieval times.
Upon the completion of the restoration project of the frescoes of the church, inauguration of the restoration project took place on Friday, the 13th of September, in the presence of H.E Mr. Gabi Layoun, Minister of Culture. Also present at the event was Dr. Rawya Majzoub – Barake, representing ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Centre.