The American Research Center in Eygpt

ARCE Releases New Book Documenting Conservation of Coptic Monastery

ARCE Releases New Book Documenting Conservation of Coptic Monastery

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ARCE Releases New Book Documenting Conservation of Coptic Monastery
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ARCE announces the publication of a new book, "The Cave Church of Paul the Hermit at the Monastery of St. Paul in Egypt," which is available now through Amazon.com. The volume is co-published by the American Research Center in Egypt and Yale University Press.

The collection of essays written by renowned specialists and edited by William Lyster presents different aspects of the Coptic Monastery of St. Paul on the Red Sea coast of Egypt and of its main church. The church evolved from a rock-cut hermit's cave as early as the 4th century, and is richly decorated with wall paintings dating from the early 13th to the 18th century.

From 1997 to 2005, ARCE carried out conservation work on the wall paintings in collaboration with the Coptic Church and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. This longstanding and incredibly successful conservation project provides the foundational narrative of the book.

According to the publisher's description, "the book also sets the art and architecture of the Cave Church in its historical context and examines the role of the Monastery of St. Paul as part of the sacred geography of Christian Egypt through time."

"The Cave Church of Paul the Hermit at the Monastery of St. Paul in Egypt" can be considered a follow-on volume to 2002's "Monastic Visions: Wall Paintings in the Monastery of St. Antony at the Red Sea" by Elizabeth Bolman, which documented and studied the extraordinary Coptic art revealed during conservation activity at a nearby monastery.

Both books derive from an ongoing emphasis by ARCE on documenting and publishing the outcomes of the many significant conservation projects the organization has directed in recent years. With generous grants from USAID, ARCE has, over the past two decades, undertaken an extraordinary mission to preserve the cultural heritage of Egypt. More than fifty conservation projects have been completed, spanning many eras and geographic regions within Egypt.

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