The Restoration and Conservation of Islamic Monuments in Egypt
Jere L. Bacharach
American University in Cairo Press, 1995 - Architecture - 194 pages
The Cairo earthquake of October 1992 was the immediate background to an international conference of art historians, engineers, and architects, held in Cairo in June 1993 to discuss general and specific problems related to the preservation and conservation of Islamic monuments in Egypt, with particular focus on Cairo. More than half the participants were Egyptian, while others came from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, and Turkey. The papers presented in this volume record the views and experiences of this diverse group of specialists.
In the first section of the book, the opening essay raises critical theoretical issues on the nature of restoration and how decisions to repair, replace, or remove particular elements in a building reflect the values of a particular time and group of individuals. A second essay addresses the question of approaching restoration in terms of an historic zone rather than particular buildings, and others demonstrate the breadth of overseas involvement in the restoration of Cairo's Islamic monuments, with specific examples of work undertaken by Germans, Italians, and Poles. The technical problems facing any restoration or conservation project in Egypt are the focus of the second part of the book: topics range from the problems of retrofitting monuments to prevent further damage from earthquakes to concerns with the ground water and pollutants. The book reveals how much has been achieved since the last such conference over a decade ago, in particular the growing participation of Egyptians in the conservation and preservation of their heritage.
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