The MOSAIKON initiative recently convened its third Regional Advisory Meeting, held in Venice in January 2016. With funding from the Getty Foundation, representatives from Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Turkey joined the MOSAIKON partners to discuss the state of the initiative, its achievements since the project began in 2008, and methods for ensuring the long-term sustainability of its outcomes. The results and recommendations of this meeting will guide MOSAIKON work over the next several years.
MOSAIKON is a strategic, regional initiative that aims to improve the conservation, presentation, and maintenance of archaeological mosaics in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region through capacity building, professional networks, model projects, and dissemination of information. It is a partnership of the GCI, the Getty Foundation, ICCM (International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics), and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).
The Mediterranean region possesses an incredibly rich mosaic heritage, both in situ in archaeological contexts and in museums and storage. This mosaic heritage is at greater risk than ever because of neglect and lack of maintenance, scarcity of resources and adequately trained personnel, unenforced or ineffective policies and management, and, currently, civil unrest, looting, and intentional destruction. MOSAIKON has been instrumental in trying to address some of these issues, through a number of interrelated projects and activities led by the different partner institutions.
In addition to leading various training projects, the GCI has partnered with the Institut National du Patrimoine of Tunisia and World Monuments Fund to develop a model conservation project at the site of Bulla Regia in northwest Tunisia. In the framework of the MOSAIKON initiative, this project aims to demonstrate best practices in mosaic conservation, utilizing locally available materials and a team of Tunisian mosaic conservation technicians previously trained by the GCI. The GCI is also developing a long-term conservation plan and program for all of the site's mosaics, which will serve as a model for similar sites in the region. This project is being highlighted in the Getty Villa exhibition, Roman Mosaics Across the Empire, which opened in March 2016.