Morocco joins efforts with U.S. for Volubilis mosaics restoration
The restoration project of historic mosaics of the archeological site of Volubilis, an ancient Roman city near Meknes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was launched Wednesday in presence of minister of culture Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, David Greene.
Supported by the U.S., the $189,000 project will be carried out by Ifker Association of Education on the Environment and Sustainable Development to restore and preserve historic 2nd and 3rd century mosaics, inspired by Greco-Roman mythology.
Volubilis is home to dozens of mosaic panels from the ancient Roman city of Banasa site, some of which the project will also restore and preserve. The project will also train local artisans in the restoration and preservation of mosaics in order to build sustainable livelihoods in the region.
“This project is an example of the U.S. Government’s continued partnership with the Moroccan government and with local organizations to preserve and share the Kingdom’s invaluable cultural heritage,” Charge d’Affaires Greene said during the launch ceremony held at the Volubilis site.
The project will build upon Ifker’s partnership with the California-based Getty Conservation Institute Mosaikon, an initiative dedicated to improving the conservation, presentation and management of mosaics in the Mediterranean region.
Getty experts from the U.S. will come to Morocco to work with the local partners, train artisans on restoration and preservation of mosaics, and do outreach to local audiences on cultural heritage restoration and the importance of Morocco’s cultural heritage to the world.
“Given the importance of these objects, the project will be implemented with a close coordination with the local community and youth, through training in mosaic restoration, education and sharing of best practices of cultural heritage preservation, as well as promoting the importance of Morocco’s cultural heritage,” said Ifker President Anwar El Haouari.