Students of the ‘Pisa-Akko’ Conservation Project at work
Students of architecture and structural engineering from Pisa, Italy and Akko and its surrounding area are participating in a conservation project to preserve the material heritage of Akko. The project includes a physical survey and historical study of the International Center for the Conservation of Akko building
as a preliminary stage in the program intended to preserve it.
Some ten students from Pisa and Akko are currently taking part in a physical survey and historical study of the International Center for the Conservation of Akko building and the results of their work will constitute the basis for planning the conservation of that structure. The students are also instructing local high school pupils with regards to survey and documentation techniques, are designing a local exhibition for presenting possible directions for the development of the conservation center, are getting acquainted with the unique characteristics of the city of Akko and are participating in ethnic and social activities. The ‘Pisa-Akko’ conservation project came into being through the cooperation between the city of Pisa and the Old Akko Development Company owing to Akko and Pisa being twin cities. These cities share a chapter of history whose presence is still significant in Akko. The project, which constitutes a model for future cooperation between Akko, as a living laboratory, and numerous other institutions from all over the world, is being directed by conservation experts from Italy and Israel.
Shelley-Anne Peleg, director of the International Center for Conservation, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said today that this is the center’s first international project and it represents a first step in the preservation process of a very beautiful Ottoman building where the International Center for Conservation will be housed. “The focus of the program is to offer a work model combined with community workshops aimed at exposing the residents of the city to the local heritage of the past”, Peleg added.
The director-general of the Old Akko Development Company, David Harari, stated that the international cooperation also brings with it international exposure and broad recognition that will contribute and aid in the development of the city, which UNESCO has declared a world cultural heritage site. Akko mayor, Shimon Lankri, added that he hopes this is the beginning of significant international work by the new international center in Akko.
The team of Italian experts includes the Pisa municipal architect/engineer, Mr. Marco Guarchi, and Olimpia Niglio, professor of conservation architecture at the University of Pisa. The Israeli staff includes advisors from the Department of Conservation of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The professional aspects of the entire program will be supervised by Ra’anan Kislev, director of the Department of Conservation of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The preparation of the community program and its supervision will be done by the Galilee Archaeological Education Center of the Antiquities Authority.