“International Symposium Conservation and Restoration of Mosaics,” Plovdiv

(February 27 – March 02, 2017)

Organized by the Municipality of Plovdiv and the Balkan Heritage Foundation

From February 27 to March 1, 2017, Plovdiv hosted an international event of great importance for the cultural heritage of the city, chosen for European Capital of Culture in 2019. Members of one of the most prestigious organizations – the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) and scientists from Bulgaria, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Syria, Spain, Great Britain and North Macedonia took part in the International Symposium “Conservation and Restoration of Mosaics”, which was held at the House of Culture “Boris Hristov”.

Among the participants stood out – Roberto Nardi – Director of the Center for Archaeological Conservation in Rome and President of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM), Gaël de Guichen – Honorary President of the International Committee for Mosaic Conservation, Advisor to the Director General of the International Center for Research on Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Sites (ICCROM), Elena Kantareva-Decheva – Associate Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at AMTII Plovdiv and Head of the restoration of mosaics at the archeological site of the Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis, Ivan Vasilev – founder and CEO of the Balkan Heritage Foundation and Amelia Gesheva – Deputy Mayor of Culture and Tourism of Plovdiv.

The main topic of the symposium were the modern achievements and challenges in the field of restoration and conservation of mosaics. A topic, especially relevant for the city of Plovdiv currently in connection with the intensive work at the archaeological excavations of the “Bishop’s Basilica of Philippopolis”. A wide range of topics related to the effective management of such sites in the context of culture and tourism were discussed by leading international experts and scientists who presented data and analyses of good world practices.

You can find more information about the keynote speakers, as well as download the full program (in Bulgarian) here.

“Mosaics are fundamental to our cultural heritage and at the same time something brittle, fragile, which must be carefully preserved. Our work is not only about conservation and restoration, but also about conveying to people the spirit, meaning and history that mosaics carry. For decades, we believed that archeology was a job only for archaeologists. But it actually carries important public information, draws on public resources, and its results are the foundation, because archeology is a lever for a country’s economic development (…) ” acknowledged Roberto Nardi.

“The quality of the mosaics is related to their historical content, not so much to the aesthetic. In Rome the quality is low, but there are many valuable for world history. There are mosaics of exceptional quality in Tunisia and Turkey, but they are not necessarily interesting.” According to him, the act of exposing the mosaics should be approached with respect, because if it is not visible, the entire quality of the mosaics can be lost forever.

“You have an incredible cultural heritage and you should be very proud,” Gaël de Guichen told the media at a press conference.