Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Restoration of a replica of the Madaba map

CARDO PROJECT: Byzantine-era mosaic to be restored in Jewish Quarter’s Cardo section. Old City beautification project initiated to celebrate 50-year anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem (Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post).
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, several government agencies have joined forces to restore a Byzantine-era mosaic in the Cardo section of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, and add nine new colorful mosaics.

The beautification project was recently initiated by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter and the Tourism Ministry, with aid from Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Antiquities Authority.

According to Pini Refael, manager of the company’s education and tour guide department, Jerusalem’s Cardo dates back to the 6th century CE, and is depicted on the Madaba Map, part of a floor mosaic discovered in 1884 in a Byzantine church in Madaba, Jordan.

To mark the capital’s half-century milestone, Refael said it was decided to focus on the Jewish Quarter’s rich historic culture and art. Apart from the replica of the Madaba Map, he said the nine other mosaics will illustrate the stories of people who lived and worked there during Byzantine times.

This is a bit confusing. The Madaba Map is an ancient mosaic in a church in the town of Madaba in Jordan. Among other things, it depicts sixth century CE Jerusalem, including the Cardo thoroughfare. There are (at least) two replicas of the Madaba Map in Jerusalem, one in the lobby of the YMCA Hotel and the other in the Cardo. Apparently the latter is being restored and nine other mosaics are being added to go with it. Some of the information in the article could be presented more clearly. I think that's what it is is saying, although it took me a while to sort it out.

Past posts involving the Madaba Map in Jordan are here, here, here, and here.