TRANSFER MALOWIDEŁ I SZTUKATERII JAKO SPOSÓB RATOWANIA DEKORACJI ŚCIENNYCH NA PRZYKŁADZIE PRAC KONSERWATORSKICH W PAŁACU MUHAMMADA ALEGO W KAIRZE
THE TRANSFERENCE OF PAINTINGS AND STUCCO AS A METHOD FOR SALVAGING WALL DECORATIONS UPON THE EXAMPLE OF CONSERVATION IN THE MUHAMMAD ALI PALACE IN CAIRO
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The transference of murals is a drastic operation involving fundamental interference in the composition and structure of the original work of art. Despite the obvious side effects, threats, and limitations, transference is, in certain situations, the only possible way to save a historical monument. Apart from the above mentioned negative aspects, the transference of wall decorations is extremely expensive and time-consuming, while the owners, investors, and conservation authorities, contrary to all expectations, not always and not in every case opt for saving threatened monuments at all cost. In many cases, they consider the possibility of removing the preserved but seriously damaged ceiling decorations, and their ensuing reconstruction. This is the reason why the inauguration of work intent on devising and improving rapid and inexpensive methods of transferring and protecting wall decorations appears to be justified. Such methods, apart from the economic and time factors, should take into account yet another condition: the applied material and instruments should be available at the site of conserving the given monument or be sufficiently light and handy to be transported, e. g. by plane. Work on such methods would make it feasible to employ them in cases of cataclysms or armed conflicts; they would be also of assistance in planning repairs, making estimates of the costs, and evaluating objects containing valuable wall decorations. The Gabalaya Pavillon (Palace on a Hill), in which the described work was carried out, is part of a garden-palace complex in Shobra al-Kyahma (one of the districts in northern Cairo). The building was erected in 1808-1823 (1223-1239) by Italian architects and artists commissioned by Muhammad Ali. Generally speaking, the conservation of the ceiling decorations consisted of gluing the loose plaster and painted layer, repairing the wooden construction of the ceiling and protecting it against microorganisms, the removal of repainting and cleaning the original gilding and polychrome, the supplementation of gaps in the plaster, the introduction of uniform colour in the painted decoration, and the reconstruction of larger gaps in the stucco, plaster, and painted decoration. The character of the damage made it necessary to solve a number of untypical conservation problems, such as devising effective ways and methods of gluing plaster pockets and blisters; conceiving methods for straightening and gluing spatial stucco forms; transferring those fragments of the decoration which could no be saved without reinforcing the plaster as well as those whose wooden bases (wooden beams and laths) were classified as suitable for exchange; a transference of a rosette from the main dome; finally, the removal, conservation, and reinstallment of those fragments of the decoration which fell off. A reconstruction of the plaster, stucco, and painted layer would make it possible to recreate the original appearance of the ceiling. The work was performed in a relatively short time. The majority of the material was purchased on the spot or transported by plane from Poland. The conservation was conducted by a team of Egyptian workers under the supervision of two conservators from Poland.
- mgr, jest absolwentem Wydziału Konserwacji i Restauracji Dzieł Sztuki Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie (1998 r.) oraz podyplomowych studiów w zakresie wyceny nieruchomości w Wyższej Szkole Handlu i Finansów Międzynarodowych w Warszawie. Jest członkiem zarządu Rzeszowskiej Sekcji Konserwatorów Zabytków Związku Polskich Artystów Plastyków oraz autorem wielu publikacji. Od 1996 r. prowadzi własną pracownię konserwacji zabytków (malarstwo, rzeźba, architektura). Od 2003 r. współpracuje z egipską firmą Heritage Egypt, w której ramach konsultuje i realizuje prace konserwatorskie na terenie Kairu i Aleksandrii w Egipcie. Od września 2005 r. jest doktorantem WKiRDS w Krakowie.
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