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MONASTARY OF SAINT CATHERINE IN SINAI: THE CONSERVATION OF THE MOSAIC OF THE TRANSFIGURATION
Dr. Roberto Nardi will be presenting a special seminar in Professor Thomas' courses on Monday March 28, 2011, 3:00pm.
This event is not open to the public.
In addition, Dr. Nardi will be giving a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum on Sunday March 27th, at 3:00pm in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. This event is free with museum admission, tickets and reservations are not required. More information is available on the Metropolitan Museum's website.
The mosaic of the Transfiguration in the basilica of the Monastery of St. Catherine's in Sinai was done in the 6th century at the behest of the emperor Justinian. It has a rich chromatic range of
glass paste, glass, gold and silver tesserae and tesserae in stone and it is a jewel of early Byzantine art. Over the centuries, it has suffered extensive damage due to earthquakes and intense visitation
by pilgrims from all corners of the world. Some of the signs of deterioration were detachment of the preparatory layer from the wall, bulges in the mosaic surface, and lacunae (gaps) in the tesselatum. The area of Christ was so badly decayed that the mosaic was close to collapse, as
an article of Kurt Weizman on the National Geographic reported in 1964. These problems led the
monastic community to undertake a delicate program of consolidating and conserving the mosaic,
and the CCA, Center for Archaeological Conservation, Rome, was asked to do the restoration.
actual work began in 2005, thanks to financing from the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, following a project plan the CCA developed in 2001 for the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). The mosaic will be open to the public during Spring 2011. More information: www.ccaroma.org
Roberto Nardi received a degree in archaeology from the University of Rome and another
in conservation of archaeological materials at the Central Restoration Institute, Rome. In 1982 he founded the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (CCA), a private company carrying out public commissions in the field of conservation of ancient monuments and archaeological sites. CCA is based in a convent located north of Rome where training course are held. He has directed training courses and more than 50 projects in 14 countries, including the Arch of Septimius Severus and the Temple of Vespasian in the Roman Forum, the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, Turkey, wall paintings at the Madrasa Amiriya in Yemen, and the mosaic at Saint Catherine’s in the Sinai. Since the mid-1980s, he has made a special effort to raise awareness on the themes of fragility and safeguard of cultural heritage by opening CCA’s conservation worksites to the public in places such as the Capitoline Museum in Rome and Masada in Israel. He has developed projects for the Getty Conservation Institute and the Packard Humanities Institute, with special reference to mosaics conservation. He has published 80 technical articles and served as an Associate Professor at ICCROM. He is a Fellow of the IIC and vice president of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). Dr. Nardi is a Kress Lecturer at the American Institute of Archaeology for 2010/2011.