After a year of the devastating explosion in Beirut, the British Museum and The European Fine Art Foundation will work on it. They have teamed up to help in restoring the ancient artifacts devastated due to the blast. The museum and the fair will now restore the 8 glass vessels. These glasses date back to early Islamic and Roman times.
These works have been on view at the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut. It is two miles away from the explosion that devastated the city last August. Due to the blast, the glass objects have been shattered into pieces.
Before returning to Beirut, the restored glassworks will go to the British Museum for a temporary exhibition.
Sandra Smith, the head of collection care at the British Museum, said, “Glass is a very difficult material to reconstruct, not least because the sherds flex and ‘spring’ out of shape and have to be drawn back under tension to restore the original shape. Doing this for hundreds of pieces is a delicate process”. He also said that the world-class facilities and highly experienced conservation staff will ensure the preservation of these items to exceptional standards.”
The 8 works are now all set for the restoration task. These were on a view in a glass case along with 64 other objects of glasses. The Seven other objects are the repairable ones. Nadine Panayot, the curator at the AUB Archaeological Museum, has described this destruction as a priceless cultural loss.
Those glass vessels are of great significance as they offer insights into the glass objects of1st century BCE. During that time, ancient Lebanon has been considered the glassmaking center in the world. Six of the objects go back to when there was a production of glasses. Two other dates back to the late Byzantine and early Islamic periods.
Jamie Fraser, a British Museum curator, said, “The glass vessels have survived several disasters and conflicts over the last 2,000 years, only to be shattered by the port explosion in 2020. Their restoration reflects the resilience of the staff at the Archaeological Museum and the importance that Lebanon places on its rich cultural heritage.”
TEFAF has its fame for the art fairs in New York and the Netherlands. The fair will support the British Museum’s efforts to restore the glass vessel with its Museum Restoration Fund. This fund started its journey in 2012 to aid the museums in the restoration and research on the important artifacts.