News

Work to be carried out on Jerusalem Memorial mosaics

22 October 2012

The Jerusalem Memorial stands in Jerusalem War Cemetery, 4.5 kilometres north of the walled city. The memorial commemorates 3,300 Commonwealth Servicemen who died during the First World War in operations in Egypt or Palestine and who have no known grave.

The memorial includes an elaborately decorated 'Records Room', featuring mosaics on both the walls and ceiling. The mosaics were designed by Sir Robert Anning Bell, the professor of design at the Royal College of Art from 1918 to 1924.

The refurbishment of this room and the mosaics it contains is a very specialised exercise, and the Commission has sought the help of, Ghaleb Abu Diab, a skilled restorer of mosaics, who is employed by the Antiques Authority of Israel.

Ghaleb Abu Diab started surveying the room in the first week of October. Here he can be seen using a magnetic roller to sound the mosaics for hollow spots and cavities. This will locate any of the original mesh used in the mosaics construction, that is now causing a problem.

A stethoscope is then used to confirm the extent of the cavities. We are currently awaiting a full report of Abu Diab's findings, with the necessary restoration work scheduled for early 2013.