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'Save those Stones' Course for World's Jews

Antiquities Authority steps up educational efforts, with a course teaching Jews from around the world how to conserve ancient buildings.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 3/3/2011, 5:21 PM / Last Update: 3/3/2011, 5:36 PM

antiquities.org.il

The Israel Antiquities Authority’s educational efforts have taken a step forward, with the inauguration of a program to teach Jews from around the world how to conserve ancient buildings.

The program, called Saving the Stones, is a five-month international training internship in historical and archeological conservation. The internship will enable students to work alongside leading Israeli conservation specialists and archaeologists, study ancient building technologies, and learn about renowned historical figures, nations, cultures and religious movements that have left their mark in Israel.

The IAA emphasizes that the objective is to strengthen the Jewish students’ sense of belonging to the Jewish Nation and the State of Israel.

The course follows the successful conclusion of the first stage of the IAA’s Pisa-Akko Conservation Program, centering around the International Conservation Center Building in the northern-coastal city of Akko. For ten days, ten architectural/engineering students – five from Pisa and five from northern Israel – took part in conducting a physical survey and historical research of the building as a first step toward its conservation and restoration.

The Pisa-Akko Conservation Project was initiated by the Municipality of Pisa & the Old Acre (Akko) Development Program, one of several joint ventures between the twin cities. The project was guided by a Pisa city architect/engineer, a professor of restoration architecture from the University of Pisa, and two tutors from the Conservation Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The mornings were occupied with the survey, while in the afternoons, the students tutored local high school students on survey techniques.

The upcoming Saving the Stones course, the third in a series, will take place in the International Conservation Center Building. In the first course, students from Poland, Russia, the U.S., England, Panama and of course Israel took part. Architect Raanan Kislev, head of the Conservation Department in the IAA, said that IAA conservation experts will guild both the theoretical and the practical studies.

For more information on the Israel Antiquities Authority and archaeological news in Israel, click here