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History Told on Walls: Bas-Reliefs on the Royal Palaces of Abomey
In the early 18th century, bas-reliefs became an integral feature of the Abomey palaces of the kings of Dahomey. Not only did they illustrate the Fon people's complex mythology, customs, and system of rituals, they also recounted battles fought and the tortures to which enemies were subjected, glorifying the victories and power of each king. For a society without written documents, they constituted an important record of the past. Today, as their conservation is undertaken by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Republic of Benin, the oldest remaining royal bas-reliefs have themselves become a story.

Living Traditions: A Conversation with Rachida De Souza
The Director of the Republic of Benin's Department of Cultural Heritage talks about the department's collaboration with the GCI, tourism and the development of the Royal Palaces of Abomey, and the role of conservation in preserving traditional cultural life.

When the Earth Moves: The Getty Seismic Adobe Project
Historic adobe buildings are a vanishing feature of the American landscape, many destroyed as the result of earthquakes. The cost and invasiveness of today's seismic retrofitting methods have prevented most adobe owners from undertaking measures to preserve their buildings. To protect what remains of this important architectural heritage, the Getty Conservation Institute has, over the last six years, developed and evaluated relatively inexpensive retrofitting techniques that would substantially preserve the authenticity of historic adobes while providing seismic protection.

In the Aftermath of Civil War: Cultural Heritage in Lebanon
Since Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990, the country has been trying to reconstitute its institutions. Enormous progress has been made toward rebuilding the nation's infrastructure and institutions, but much remains to be done, including protecting and conserving the country's cultural heritage, which suffered neglect and destruction during the brutal war. If properly managed, this heritage can play a significant part in Lebanon's reconstruction. This report takes a look at the present condition of the National Museum and archaeological sites around the country.

GCI News
Updates on GCI events, courses and conferences, new publications, and staff profiles are reported.

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