Conservation of the Material Cultural Heritage in Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Maraabeh, Isra’a
Qawariq, Hadeel
Taweel, Omaila
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Abstract: In This project contribution to the continuing efforts in restoration and preservation (conservation) of the material Islamic heritage in Al-Aqsa mosque was aimed. This great landmark of the Islamic architecture and art demonstrate a historical continuity of a dominant Arab-Islamic presence and culture in Jerusalem for the last 15 centuries. In fact, this is a historical and artistic treasure that stands up as exceptional monument on the global scale as well. Therefore, the preservation of this monument is primordial. This monument contains numerous types of materials (metals & alloys, ceramics, glass, stones, masonry, pigments, wood, and cementitious agents, whether organic or inorganic). Various types of materials behave and perform differently under the same environmental conditions. This only makes the restoration and preservation of these structures more complicated and extremely hard given the current political situation. Therefore, we propose here our modest contribution to the continuing efforts to restore any deteriorated/altered/corroded architectural or artistic element and to preserve well-conserved elements under the appropriate conditions. Of course, this will necessitate on one hand an understanding of the mechanisms of degradation processes and the parameters controlling them; on the other hand, affected elements should receive some adequate treatment that stops the degradation or better reverse it. For this purpose, sampling must be considered very seriously and only minimum samples and amounts should be taken for lab tests. Therefore, non-invasive or at least non-destructive sampling and testing (analysis) strategy has to be followed and rigorously and we shall do our best to minimize the size of samples chosen for such tests. This work shall be done in close collaboration and supervision of the restoration team that is based in the Holy Mosques Square, who is in charge of the restoration/conservation work and we shall respond to their immediate needs in this field