About this lecture
On Friday the 16th of January, Roberto Nardi gave a lecture at the Egyptian Academy in Rome, titled “The Monastery of Saint Catherine, the mosaic of the Transfiguration”. The event was attended by Father Justin, librarian in the Monastery of Saint Catherine, and chaired by Prof. Gaël de Guichen, Special Advisor to the Director-General of ICCROM.
Father Justin gave an interesting interpretation of the Mosaic of the Transfiguration, considered in its nature of spiritual means in the monastery life, other than in its extraordinary value as artistic and historic piece of work. Roberto Nardi talked about the conservation and restoration intervention carried out on the mosaic by CCA, Centro di Conservazione Archeologica between 2005 and 2011.
The mosaic of the Transfiguration covers a surface of 46 m2 in the basilica of the Monastery of Saint Catherine’s in Sinai. Done in the 6th century at the behest of the emperor Justinian, it has a rich chromatic range of glass paste, glass, gold and silver tesserae and tesserae in stone. The mosaic is a jewel of early Byzantine art. Over the centuries, it has suffered extensive damage due to earthquakes and water infiltration. Some of the signs of deterioration were detachments of the preparatory layer from the wall, bulges in the mosaic surface, and lacunae (gaps) in the mosaic. The area of Christ was so badly decayed that the mosaic was close to collapse. These problems led the monastic community to undertake a delicate program of consolidating and conserving the mosaic, and the CCA, Center for Archaeological Conservation, Rome, was asked to do the restoration.
The intervention was realized thanks to funding of the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, following a project realized in 2001 by CCA for the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI).
Speaker(s): Roberto Nardi
Date: January 16th, 2015
Location(s): Egyptian Academy of Rome, Italy
Organizing Institution(s): Egyptian Academy Rome