Last week, the six young workers involved in the restoration of the Gethsemane Basilica’s mosaics were given the opportunity to attend a lecture by guest of honor Professor Alessandro Lugari of the Special Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage in Rome. The renowned Italian mosaic artist had previously collaborated with the laboratory responsible for the creation of the original Gethsemane mosaics at the beginning of the century and subsequently their restoration. He therefore gladly accepted the invitation to hold a series of seminars focusing on ancient and modern mosaics, which not only sparked the interest of the young refinishers but also that of their supervisors at the Mosaic Centre of Jericho. The lectures were carried out as part of the “Gethsemane, preserve the past and train the future” project.
Professor Lugari, one of Italy’s leading experts on parietal mosaics, has taken part in restoration projects all over the world, spanning from North Africa to Latin America. He has worked alongside some of the greatest experts in the field, such as Fabrizio Cassio and Carlo Meloni, to whom he allegedly owes very much, which is one of the reasons he feels the need to pass the precious knowledge on to future generations.
According to Lugari, “the greatest satisfaction for any young person involved in this kind of work is to able to see and even touch the product of their own hard work, without overlooking the amount of knowledge and effort behind it all”. This very same knowledge coupled with the in-depth analysis of the historical context in the mosaics were born, was some of the main topics covered on in these seminars.
At the end of the series of lectures, professor Lugari said to have been extremely pleased, as he realized the importance of the endeavor for the young workers, who do not come across internationally renowned experts very often. “They paid very close attention and showed great interest in the subject” says the lecturer. “I’m very happy to think that they can now go back to work and bring all these new notions to the table”.