Overview

MOSAIKON is a collaborative, regional initiative dedicated to improving the conservation, presentation and management of mosaics in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. The initiative is a partnership of the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). Through a series of interrelated activities, MOSAIKON aims to build capacity, develop replicable models of best practice, and promote the dissemination and exchange of information regarding the conservation and management of archaeological mosaics, both those in situ and those in museums and storage.

Background

The Mediterranean region possesses an extraordinarily rich and varied heritage of mosaics, one of the defining artistic media of classical antiquity. Some of these archaeological mosaics remain in situ but many have been lifted and are presently in museums and storage. In recent decades, there have been increased national and international efforts to create better conditions for the conservation of these exceptional remains from the ancient world, many of which are at risk of being lost. However, in the absence of a coordinated strategic approach to the problem, many challenges still exist, needs continue to exceed resources, and important mosaics continue to deteriorate at a rapid rate.

In an attempt to address this situation, the GCI joined forces with the Getty Foundation, ICCROM, and ICCM in 2008 to create MOSAIKON, a strategic regional program, which aims to build upon our collective knowledge and resources to create a better future for the Mediterranean region's mosaic heritage.

The four institutions that form the MOSAIKON partnership have long been involved with conservation generally and with the conservation of mosaics in particular (see Conservation of Mosaics in Situ). However, after drafting a preliminary concept for a regional strategy, it was important to ensure that the program reflected local realities within the various countries of the Mediterranean region. For this reason, the objectives and activities of MOSAIKON were developed through a needs assessment that included consultation with representatives of twelve countries of the Mediterranean basin, as well as with a number of experts in the field.

The consultation process included a three-day meeting at ICCROM in May 2008 at which the participants discussed the most serious challenges facing mosaics conservation in the region, the initiatives currently in place, and the measures they believed necessary to provide for the long-term preservation of the mosaic heritage.

Goals

As a result of this meeting and subsequent discussions with colleagues in the region, the MOSAIKON partners defined the four principal objectives for the project which are to:

• Build capacity through the training of a variety of individuals involved in the conservation, maintenance, and management of mosaics in situ and in museums and storage
• Develop sustainable conservation practices through the use of locally available and affordable conservation materials and methods for both in situ and museum conservation
• Strengthen the network of professionals concerned with the conservation, maintenance and management of mosaic heritage
• Promote the dissemination and exchange of information

Scope and Organization

While the geographic focus of MOSAIKON is the countries of the Mediterranean basin, the program largely centers on countries in the southern and eastern parts of the region, where needs are perhaps the greatest. The target groups for MOSAIKON are purposefully broad, since success will demand the engagement of many players. These include:

• Technicians responsible for the conservation and maintenance of mosaics
• Conservators
• Site managers
• Trainers and educators
• Policy makers and local communities

Generally, preference for participation in MOSAIKON's training activities is given to those working for government authorities.

MOSAIKON activities are jointly managed by the partner organizations, each of which contributes human and/or financial resources. Each of the four partners assumes leadership of specific program activities that reflect their expertise, working in collaboration with national authorities and experts in the field. MOSAIKON's activities continue to be guided by a regional advisory group, which assists in ensuring that the program targets priorities within the region. Built into the project is routine monitoring and evaluation to measure progress and to identify and build upon the most effective strategies.

Page updated: October 2014