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Monastic Material Cultures: Image, Site, Text

Monastic Material Cultures: Image, Site, Text

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Monastic Material Cultures: Image, Site, Text
ARCE's Associate Director Michael Jones will preside (in Session 1) and present (in Session 2) at a panel discussion entitled Monastic Material Cultures: Image, Site, Text at the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome on September 17-22 September 2012.

Michael Jones' presentation “Getting at the Meaning of Places: The Authority of the Past Selectively Reconstructed to Serve the Present” will delve into the issues of conservation at historic churches in use in Egypt.

Churches frequently survived because communities that value them have maintained their original functions. But this very practice poses the most risk since the most effective way to foster respect for this heritage is to encourage continued religious use. As stated in the Venice Charter, article 5: “the conservation of monuments is always facilitated by making use of them for some socially useful purpose” and article 7: “a monument is inseparable from the history to which it bears witness and from the setting in which it occurs.”
Coptic heritage in Egypt is part of a living and constantly changing social and political environment. Archaeology, conservation and site management advocate public participation in sustaining heritage. But meanings people attach to heritage often belie Western notions of stewardship. Churches are curated according to the traditions of the Coptic Church not internationally accepted standards of site management.
These issues will be considered together with approaches that might preserve the heritage while providing for the needs of believers, scholars and visitors.

For more information, visit the Congress website: http://www.copticcongress2012.uniroma1.it

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