New Life in the Egyptian Desert for ancient Coptic Manuscripts.




The author getting stuck in the narrow corridors as television crews peer in at some of the manuscripts in the new underground storage facilities.

A state of the art 3 storey building, constructed to blend harmoniously within the Monastery walls c600AD. The Library houses gospel texts, manuscripts, theological and philosophic writings and copies of the Bible inscribed on papyrus and on parchment over 1000 years ago.

Conservation storage facilities underground are conditioned to preserve the collection.

The ground floor rooms house research facilities and a photographic studio for the digitation project about to begin with funding from the Wellness Foundation.

The top floor is a compact and well designed Conservation studio. Work benches have impressive built in light boxes to facilitate the work of Paper Conservators on ancient manuscripts.

It is a fantastic facility, inspirational in its scope and ambition. It will serve to light the way for similar projects in remote places where the worlds heritage is held by communities who open their minds and doors for the benefit of us all.

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About Lucia Scalisi

Conservator of Paintings working in London and on Conservation projects and training abroad. Formerly Senior Conservator of Paintings, Victoria & Albert Museum and BBC1's series 'Restoration Roadshow'. Accredited Conservator; FIIC; Dip Cons; B.Ed.