Eight ancient glass vessels will be restored with the support of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF)

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Eight ancient glass vessels were severely damaged in the Beirut port explosion in Lebanon on 4 August 2020.The British Museum, with the support of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) announced today an important project to restore these vessels.
The vessels, from the Roman and Islamic periods, were on display in the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut (AUB) when the explosion took place. The AUB Archaeological Museum lay 3.2 km from the port explosion, and sustained heavy damage to its windows and doors. The case they were in blew over from the force of the blast, shattering the glass objects. This new collaboration will see hundreds of the glass fragments painstakingly pieced back together and restored at the conservation laboratories at the British Museum in London.
The case the vessels were displayed in contained 74 Roman, Byzantine and Islamic period glass vessels. Most vessels were shattered beyond repair with only 15 being identified as salvageable. Of these, only eight are safe to travel to the British Museum, which has the facilities and expertise to restore and conserve these items.
Once the vessels are fully restored, they will go on temporary display at the British Museum before traveling back to Beirut.
The eight objects are hugely important in telling the story of the development of glass-blowing technology in Lebanon in the 1st century BC, a period which saw glass production revolutionised. This technique enabled the mass production of glass objects in different forms, making an elite material available for common, domestic use.




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