Dr. Fukatsu (middle) teaching trainees

The Grand Egyptian Museum Conservation Center (GEM-CC) Project of JICA conducted a training course on Textile Conservation from 14th to 17th October, 2012 at GEM-CC.

The purpose of the training course was the trainees of GEM-CC to obtain necessary knowledge and the conservation techniques for conservation work of the ancient Egyptian textile, and to learn the varying research techniques with the aids of scientific equipment. In order to achieve those objectives, the first round training course focused on making the trainees to understand the structures, materials and characteristics of the textile.

Sixteen trainees of the conservators and scientists of the GEM-CC participated in this training course. In addition to that, one external observer from the Islamic Museum and two further external observers from the Textile Museum also participated in the training course.

Dr. Yuko Fukatsu , Associate professor specialized in textile conservation, Department of textile Design, Tama art University and Mr. Akira Horie, senior researcher specialized in textile analysis, Tokyo Metropolitan industrial Technology Research institute were invited to give the lectures and practical training of this course as JICA expert instructors.

In the second day of the training course, the trainees accompanied by instructors, visited the Egyptian Museum (EM) in the district of Taharir to observe Tut Ankh Amen collections and study especially the exhibited textile artifacts of those Tut Ankh Amen collections, all of which are expected to be transferred to and exhibited at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) after completion of its construction. After that, the trainees and instructors visited the conservation labs of the EM for seeing a scene of conservation work of the textile artifacts. Furthermore, the details of the previously applied conservation techniques and methods on the textile artifacts exhibited and stored at the EM were explained to the GEM-CC trainees.

The trainees also visited the Textile Museum in the district of Khan El-Khalili, and had an explanation from the museum staff about history of the ancient Egyptian textile industry. Also the textile conservators of this museum explained them the activities of the conservators in the museum.

The training course at GEM-CC was broadly speaking separated into the lectures and the practical trainings. Apart from the technical interpretation given by instructors, the lecture of the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was given by the head of the SEM Lab. He explained usage of the SEM to analyze the textile artifacts and the images of some examples of the different materials taken by the SEM were shown to the trainees. The technical training was carried out during the practical training session at the Organic Lab, where the trainees learnt the necessary documentation techniques of the textile artifacts before undertaking actual conservation work.

Subsequently, the trainees were divided into 3 groups and they conducted the practical analysis of the fiber samples of hemp, cotton and some other textiles under supervision of instructors and the aid of the staffs of the SEM Lab. After that, the result of the analysis was presented and discussed by all participants of this training course.

The training course on textile conservation, which lasted for five days ended with trainees’ satisfaction. They requested the 2nd round of the training course and the training course was closed by trainees’ expression of gratitude toward Dr. Yuko Fukatsu and Mr. Akira Horie.

Mr. Horie (middle) explaining the analytical techniques of the fiber samples
Fiber of the textile sample is shown on the computer screen of the SEM