Together with the Swedish Association for Building Preservation and the Institute for Protection of Monuments in Tirana, Cultural Heritage without Borders, regional office in Sarajevo, has executed the restoration camp in Gjirokastra, Albania from 16th to 29th of September.
Albania is blessed with a wealth of cultural properties, and most of them are of outstanding value in the region. However, many of the historic sites in Albania urgently need preservation, restoration, and management of those irreplaceable cultural properties.
In response to such a situation, CHwB, Cultural Heritage without Borders and SBF, the Swedish Association for Building Preservation, together with the local partners, have organized a restoration camp in the historic environment of Gjirokastra, Albania. The camp was financed by SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
The camp gathered 16 participants from the whole Western Balkan region, meaning Albania, BiH, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia, two consultants, Nihad Cengic a conservator from BiH and Calle von Essen from the Swedish Association for Building Preservation, and a craftsman from Kosovo.
The main objectives of the restoration camp were to provide participants with the proper methods and techniques on conservation, restoration, and practical hands-on experience in restoring a wooden ceiling, reconstruction of one wooden window frame and application of lime mortar fillings.
Two main locations of the camp works were Zekate house and Bazaar building. Zekate house was chosen as a good example for the restoration camp, due to the very bad condition of the intermediary floor of one of the rooms. The works included: identification of the rotten beams, dismantling of the floor construction, cleaning of the dismantled boards, dismantling of the open fireplace, dismantling of the rotten beams, hewing of the new beams in a traditional way, installation of the new beams on their original positions, installation of the old and new floor boards, and an installation of the new fireplace. One of the camp activities was the cleaning of the vegetation in the courtyard of Zekate house.
The Bazaar building represents the small selling area that was originally built in 1880 and was a good educational example of the conservation of the old plaster existing on the walls as well as reconstruction of the plaster where it was missing, according to the original plaster receipts. The works included: through cleaning of the space that was used as garbage damp, cleaning of the layers of the lime wash done in previous years, consolidation of the stonewalls that were not covered with plaster with the limewater, mixing of rough plaster in order to reconstruct the missing parts of the plaster on the wall, and mixing and installing the fine plaster.
The activities of the camp were announced through the European Heritage Days manifestation that took place in Gjirokastra at the last day of the camp. This was followed by the visit of the Mayor of Gjirokastra with the religious representatives who participated in the small exercise of mixing traditional plaster that was done for our guests.
After the camp was finalised we have together with our partners, Swedish association for Building Preservation and Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Office issued certificates of gratitude to all our very good and dedicated participants.
October 16, 2007
Last Newsletter (1/09)
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