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Conserving Mosaics of Tunisia (lecture)

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2007
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

Aïcha Ben Abed, director of monuments and sites at the Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia, discusses the mosaic collections of museums and archaeological sites throughout Tunisia and recent changes and challenges in the practice of mosaics conservation.

About Mosaics Conservation in Tunisia
Thousands of beautiful and intricate mosaic pavements were produced in Tunisia between the second and the sixth centuries A.D., when a large swath of North Africa was under Roman rule. Abandoned and forgotten for centuries, these mosaics lay buried and undisturbed. Archaeological excavations began in the 1800s and revealed the mosaic floors that once decorated luxurious Roman villas. Many were removed to museums and storerooms for exhibition and safekeeping, but they were deprived of their architectural context. Others were left behind in situ—in their original locations—exposed to the elements and subject to deterioration.

Recognizing the importance of maintaining mosaics in situ, Ben Abed leads the Institut National du Patrimoine's collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute on the Project for the Conservation of Mosaics in Situ, which aims to stabilize mosaics in their original locations and develop innovative ways to protect and manage them for the future.

About Aïcha Ben Abed
Aïcha Ben Abed is one of the world's leading experts on the mosaics of Roman Africa and the former director of the Bardo Museum in Tunis. She is co-curator of the exhibition Stories in Stone: Conserving Mosaics of Roman Africa; Masterpieces from the National Museums of Tunisia, on view at the Getty Villa through April 30, 2007.

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

Hare with Grapes / Roman