Regional survey Mosaic Conservation and Training of Conservators in Southeast Europe was launched with the aim to define the needs for conservation of ancient mosaic pavements in the region and to develop educational programs in the field of mosaic conservation at the regional level. It was first initiated in 2007, by a group of young professionals from the region, all being participants in the ICCROM Programme of Archaeological Conservation in Southeast Europe. The idea behind this initiative was to try to raise awareness at regional level, both amongst professionals and national authorities, about the needs for more organized and active protection of the ancient mosaic heritage in the region.
From 2011, the project is led by the Central Institute for Conservation in Belgrade and supported by UNESCO Office in Venice, Regional Alliance ICOM SEE and National Academy of Art, Sofia.
Determining capacities of the region regarding ancient mosaic heritage and its state of conservation, as well as conservation resources, in order to allow for efficient planning and implementation of conservation and educational projects in the future.
The survey refers to ancient mosaic pavements on archaeological sites that are open to public and in museum collections. It covers eight countries in the region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
The survey was conducted trough questionnaires. Three questionnaires were conceived to fulfill the following objectives of the survey:
Invitation to take part in the survey was sent to 59 institutions around the region that are responsible for mosaics, out of which 43 accepted participation and filled questionnaires for mosaics in their responsibility.
Complete survey, that included all museums and sites open to public with mosaics, was carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Serbia. As some institutions in Albania, Bulgaria and Croatia didn’t take part in the survey, not all museums and sites open to public from those counties have been included in the survey.
In the period from April 2011 to April 2012, questionnaires were filled for 39 sites and 32 museums.
Results obtained through questionnaires were systemized and input in the database in order to be statistically analyzed and to enable presentation of the survey results. Database can be searched online to draw various reports on mosaics in museums, archaeological sites open to public, as well as on mosaic conservation profession in the region. Access to integral versions of the questionnaires is available to professionals from all the institutions that took part in the survey and to registered users.
The website is conceived as a tool to present survey results, but also to enable presentation of all the sites, museums and other institutions that took part in the survey. As such, it could be further developed to serve for the promotion of mosaic heritage and mosaic conservation activities in SE Europe.
Statistical analysis of the survey results gives a clear picture of the capacities and the needs for the conservation and presentation of mosaic heritage in SE Europe. The results of the survey will allow for better planning of conservation projects by determining priorities, help creation of training programs either at local or regional level, thus fostering inter-institutional collaboration in the region.
Implementation of the survey led to creating contacts with professionals and institutions involved with mosaic heritage, creating a nucleus of professionals interested to foster mosaic heritage in the region and a platform for developing network of specialists involved with mosaic conservation.
UNESCO Office in Venice for supporting the project,
Institutions that participated in the survey and their staff for taking time to gather information and fill the questionnaires,
Gaël de Guichen and Valerie Magar from ICCROM for the help in conceiving questionnaires.