The Fascination of Arabic Calligraphy

Rome, April 2018 – On April 21st at the Italian Geographical Society in collaboration with the Iraqi Embassy in Rome, my colleagues and I organised a one-day workshop on Arabic Calligraphy by Amjed Rifaie. Iraqi from Tikrit, he is a calligrapher based in Rome since almost 10 years.
The workshop took place in the tranquillity of the historical library of the Society located in a XVI century building in the heart of Villa Celimontana, not far from Colosseum.

Amjed taught the 12 participants the history of Arabic calligraphy, the different styles and the basics of the technique. Showing the use of the qalam, he explained how to draw the letters following the rules of this fascinating art and century-old tradition.
The music helped the participants to gain concentration and test theirselves in this difficult practice. During the lunch break they could taste some delicious Arabic recipes by the Iraqi chef Waqar Younus.

The Conservation of Byobu

Berlin, July 2017 – Last week I was in Berlin again, after almost three years, attending the Workshop on the Conservation of Japanese Screens at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in Dahlem.

One more time I had the chance to meet my teachers from Japan and colleagues from all over the world, and learn about complex objects such as byobu and traditional techniques to built and restore them.

Once again a wonderful and useful experience for both my professional and personal growth.

This five-day workshop is designed for conservators and restorers who already have an advanced knowledge of Japanese restoration and conservation techniques. It is aimed to introduce the basic technique of Japanese paper restoration techniques, the structure of Japanese screens like byobu(folding screen), the analysis of damages on screens through the practical work conducted by Japanese specialists. Applicants are required to have previously taken either “Basics for Japanese Paper and silk conservation” or similar workshops run by Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties such as JPC 2006 downward.”

In the pictures: moments from the workshops; life in Berlin.

Workshops on Japanese Conservation in Berlin


Berlin, December 2014 – This December I could attend two workshops on Japanese Paper Conservation Tradition organized by The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, with the support of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin:

  • a basic-level workshop whose aim is to introduce Japanese art objects on paper and silk through lectures, demonstrations, as well as practical exercises conducted by Japanese specialists. It will be focused on the mounting formats, the materials and techniques, general principles of conservation and restoration, and the practical exercises includes the handling of scrolls and screens;
  • an advanced-level workshop designed for conservators, restorers and restoration specialists who already have an advanced knowledge of Japanese restoration and conservation techniques. It is aimed to introduce the analysis of damages on Japanese hanging scrolls, the emergency measures such as reinforcement with paper strips (orefuse in Japanese), removing and re-attaching of roller rods, and restoration techniques such as lining with Japanese paper through the practical exercises.

In the pictures: moments of the workshops.