Conservation and restoration of archives in Beit Gazo, Lebanon, as part of a field-school project
A field-school was organized for the first time in Lebanon at the research and restoration centre of ancient churches in the Middle East.
The centre was inaugurated in April 2018. It is set up in the former monastery of Der Charfet, Daraoun Harissa, which houses a museum of religious art and and an important resource library. Since the 18th century, nearly 2200 manuscripts in Syriac, Garshuni and Arabic have been collected together here, as well as about 20,000 printed volumes from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The field-school was placed under the pedagogical supervision of Valérie Lee-Gouet, heritage conservator-restorer of cultural heritage in charge of the "Graphic Arts and Books" specialty within the department of conservators at the Inp and under the scientific control of Caroline Gélot, technical director at the centre and Father Youssef Dergham, director .
This field-school worked on the conservation and restoration of archival documents retracing the monastery's exchanges with the various local powers: the sultans (rolled-up firmans), the patriarchs, the pope (letters but also papal bulls on parchment), administrators of the French mandate, property titles in connection with the waqf (church grounds), tracing paper design plans. Much of the correspondance is in Iron Gall ink mounted in tab registers. There are also Ottoman canvas maps.
Four students from the "Graphic Arts and Books" specialty carried out research, preventive conservation and treatment of the collections.
Au Liban, le centre Beit Gazo restaure le patrimoine religieux menacé, La Croix, le 3 janvier 2019, [en ligne]
Inauguration du centre de recherche et de conservation du patrimoine des églises d’Orient, Agence News Press, 12 avril 2018, [en ligne]