Antigonea Mosaic Conservation

Antigonea Mosaic Conservation

Discovered during archaeological excavations in 1974, the mosaic of Antigonea (5th – 6th century AD) is one of the most important pieces of ancient art in the Drino Valley – known for its unique iconography.

Before conservation, the mortar under the mosaic had disintegrated, making the mosaic floor unstable and threatening the loss of the entire mosaic. To save the mosaic, a team of national and international experts worked closely to stabilize and partly reconstruct the surrounding walls, level the foundation of the mosaic floor, and replace each tile of the mosaic in its original position. During the conservation, the original staircase to the ancient church was uncovered and reinstated as the main entrance to the site.

The conservation works have once again made the mosaic accessible for researchers and visitors alike. What was formerly an overgrown cluster of stones has been turned into a coherent and recognizable site. During the off-season, the mosaic is covered to prevent weather damage, but it may now remain open during the summer months. Today the mosaic stands as a central piece of the Antigonea Archaeological Park, attracting tourists from all over the world.

Location :

Antigonea, Gjirokaster

Project dates :

June - December 2012

Donor :

German Embassy in Albania

In collaboration with :

Institute of Monuments of Culture

Work group:

Works conducted: Removal of all tiles; removal of the degraded cement on the backside of the tiles; creation of a new foundation; removal of living vegetation; repositioning the tiles over a new layer of mortar.