research Forum Visiting Conservator seminar

Conservation of the Crusader Period Wall Painting from the Abbey of the Virgin Mary in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, Jerusalem, Israel

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

14.00 - 16.00, Research Forum South Room

wall painting with stylised flower and foliage in red, brown, green and word VITAM
Photo: Nicky Davidov, IAA

Speaker(s): Jacques Neguer (Head of Conservation for the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Sharon Cather and Professor David Park

In 1999, during work to lay a sewage pipe at the site, two walls with paintings dated to the Crusader period were discovered in the Kidron–Jehoshaphat Valley in Jerusalem. The successful detachment and conservation of the painting allowed identification of the site as the refectory of the Abbey of the Virgin Mary–one of the most important monasteries in Jerusalem during the Byzantine and Crusaders periods. The success of the conservation and exhibition of the painting at the Israel Museum leave open discussion of the alternative option: conserving and displaying in-situ wall paintings that are discovered in an archaeological context. Jacques Neguer will recount the discovery, excavation, conservation, research and exhibition of the wall painting from the Valley of Jehoshaphat in the context of Israel’s realities. Israel is a country where the efforts to conserve wall paintings in-situ and the results obtained are very discouraging. Complex and sometimes very expensive projects failed to save monuments with high significance and some of them were lost forever.

Jacques Neguer was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and graduated from the Polytechnic of Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1986, with an MS Degree in Engineering Science in Chemistry. Between 1979 and 1992 he was conservator in the National Institute for Historical Monuments, Sofia, Bulgaria. He specialised in mosaics conservation at the Istituto Superiore Centrale del Restauro (ISCR), Rome, Italy. Since 1993 he has worked as a conservator in the Conservation Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, becoming Head of the Art Conservation Section of the Conservation Department in 1994. He has been a member of ICCM (International Committee for Conservation Mosaics) since 1996 and an elected member of the board 2002-2005, as well as a Member of ICOMOS – Israel and Head of the ICOMOS Scientific Committee for Stone conservation.

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