Ben Ezra Synagogue. Cairo, Egypt
01/04/1999 to 01/06/1999
Type of Intervention: 
Study, documentation, conservation and final presentation of the marble surfaces
Canadian Centre for Architecture
Scientific Direction: 
Roberto Nardi
Technical Direction: 
Roberto Nardi

Situated in the heart of old Cairo is the Ben Ezra synagogue, built on the ruins of an 8th century AD church. It contains a mastaba (tomb) carved in Carrara marble by an Italian stoneworker as the cover of an ancient tumulus in lime mortar.

The monument was affected by the rising groundwater in that area of the city, and had serious structural problems that were causing the marble components to separate from their position. The surfaces were also altered due to soluble salts.

The conservation treatment performed by the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (CCA) involved dismantling all the elements of the external structure, and then desalinating, cleaning, consolidating and protecting them.
A new support system was devised in order to assemble the slabs in a stable equilibrium, isolate the structure from the monument below and restore solidity among the elements.