Training Conservators: Saving a Neglected Collection
Heritage Without Borders (UK) collaborated with CHwB to run a 10-day textile conservation training course for regional museum professionals in Gjirokastra, southern Albania, in April 2014.
Since the fall of the communist regime in Albania in the early 1990s, museums were almost completely abandoned, and many of the collections were lost, damaged or in a poor state of conservation. The same fate followed with the development of professional skills for the people working in museums. This course helped local heritage professionals from the region to conserve and interpret a unique collection of textiles currently housed in the Gjirokastra Ethnographic Museum. During the training, they also provided support for the museum’s collection needs. There were 12 regional participants from Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia.
The following primary aims were achieved:
– Identified/improved traditional regional textile skills;
– Enhanced regional skills in preventative textile conservation and display;
– Identified the main risks and approaches for improving storage and display of costume and textiles in the Ethnographic Museum;
– Engaged local craftswomen;
– Explored possible ways of displaying and interpreting historic costumes and textiles.