A mosaic of art and humanity: restorers from Trento in Bethany to form the young boys and girls of the Mosaic Center
“From the observation of the mosaic we have deduced the best method to restore it. There is a solution to every problem: a lesson in work and life “. Paula tells us about her experience: together with other students from the Mosaic Center in Jericho and to the new students of the mosaic course in Bethlehem, she participated in a three-day course on mosaic restoration and fresco techniques held by two restorers of Trento organized by ATS pro Terra Sancta.
The bridge between ATS pro Terra Sancta and Trento has solid foundations: the collaboration was born for New mosaicists for Bethlehem, a project designed for the training of new mosaic artisans and the enhancement of the Palestinian artistic and cultural heritage, realized with the patronage of the Autonomous Province of Trento and together with other Trentino realities (Associazione Amici P. Kaswalder, Associazione Artigiani Trentina, Associazione Missioni Francescane Trento, Aca de Vita) and the Mosaic Center as a local partner.
Barbara Tommasini, president of the restorers category of the Artisans Association of Trento specialized in frescoes, and Alessandra Costa, owner of a mosaic restoration company, spent a few days in the company of new apprentices sharing their experience and training. “The first day was used to give a theoretical introduction to the subject and provide a specific terminology” Alessandra tells us “while in the following two days we moved from the new headquarters of the Mosaic Center in Bethlehem to practical lessons on the pitch in Bethany“. The boys were commissioned to clean up and restore the precious Byzantine mosaics of the Church of Saint Lazarus in Bethany. Each participant was entrusted with a portion of the mosaic of the ancient church’s pavement, indicating the state of conservation, hypothesising and carrying out a restoration operation. Some of them already knew a lot of techniques because they have been working at the Mosaic Center for some time, while the guys who are doing the mosaic course have been able to learn the techniques of working with ancient mosaics.
A wonderful experience of cultural exchange under the sign of the enhancement of heritage that has given an opportunity for growth both to the Palestinian boys and to the two Italian teachers. “I found a lot of enthusiasm, everyone wanted to learn and deepen. We worked with different stones and materials, learning their names in Arabic and teaching them scientific terminology. Overcome the first linguistic difficulties, we managed to get a good result, “said Barbara. “Betania is a site with great potential, we hope to continue with further collaborations”, concluded Alessandra.