Adventures in Preservation (AiP)

Adventures in Preservation (AiP) envisions a world where people use, understand, and appreciate historic buildings that are vital to economic and environmental sustainability and preserve cultural identity. AiP organizes international volunteer-based projects which provide educational training in preservation issues and technical skills, preserve and restore heritage sites essential to cultural identity, and support sustainable economic development through heritage tourism and job creation. Adventures in Preservation's mission: Connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs that safeguard heritage and foster community sustainability.
Oct 2, 2014

Eleven Conservators from Five Countries Donate Time & Talents

AiP volunteers document damaged wall paintings
AiP volunteers document damaged wall paintings

Last week, a report came in from Deborah, an architect and one of AiP’s September session volunteers at the Skendli house in Gjirokastra.

Many groups of tourists continue to pass through the Skenduli house. Edlira (Mr. Skenduli’s daughter) gave tours all day! Her sons are the 11th generation of Skendulis to play in the courtyard. We are meeting the tourists and taking the opportunity to tell them about the project and AIP.

Debbie provided us with proof that the project is helping to create economic growth in Gjirokastra. Tourists are drawn to the site to see ongoing skills training and building conservation efforts and are eager to explore the architectural history being preserved. Your support is allowing conservation work at the Skenduli house and other historic buildings to continue, and these efforts are boosting the local economy, bringing tourist dollars and creating jobs.

In the past two weeks, eleven professional conservators from five countries completed testing, assessment and 3D laser scanning of the entire Skenduli house to detect and record any remnants of wall paintings. The group worked all weekend, and at times through the night!, to scan and assess the condition of two additional houses in danger of collapsing. All these professionals donated their time and even provided additional funding.

The May session will build on September’s results and begin conservation of the fragile remains of exterior wall paintings. Albanian students as well as international volunteers will receive training. Donations provide trainees from Albania with scholarships to cover their expenses while they learn their country’s traditions in wall painting. They will then use these old traditional skills, newly learned, to continue work at the Skenduli house and begin documentation at a nearby house.

Please continue your generous support to help us reach two goals: completion of vital roof repairs prior to the May session; and initiation of planning for the next stage of work preserving massive amounts of exterior and interior wood detailing – another tradition nearly lost.

We’re so happy to have you on board for this journey. With your support, we’ll continue to give 120% until our goals are achieved!

SAM professionals from Italy donate time&expertise
SAM professionals from Italy donate time&expertise
Conservator from London documents decorative paint
Conservator from London documents decorative paint
Part of volunteer team in Skenuli house courtyard
Part of volunteer team in Skenuli house courtyard
Tower house in danger of collapsing-next project?
Tower house in danger of collapsing-next project?

Links:

Jul 8, 2014

Professional Interest Piques in Skills Training

J O
J O'Connell is a project instructor from Australia

If you’ve been supporting AiP’s hands-on educational program in Albania, or if you’ve been thinking about joining our group of supporters, here’s another reason you’ll be proud to be part of the team.

Adventures in Preservation’s September project created so much buzz among building conservation professionals, that registration for the 2-week session has reached its maximum! The group of 14 – including four from Albania – will use their expertise and learn new skills to find hidden wall paintings and document their findings in preparation for May 2015.

The May session will initiate the restoration of paintings and is open to both students and professionals in the fields of building conservation, art conservation and related fields. The tradition of decorative wall painting, as seen at the Skenduli house, is becoming a lost art, and our volunteers plan to reverse this trend. Your donations will help provide scholarships for students, as well as cover the cost of some materials.

Saving traditions such as the Albanian style of wall paintings is vital to the continued growth of the country's heritage tourism initiatives. These amazing historic houses are the key resource in building a viable economy. Our partnership with Albania’s Institute of Cultural Monuments has allowed AiP and our volunteers to make great progress at the Skenduli house. But without our partnership with you, as a supporter, none of the work would be possible.

We appreciate your continuing generosity which has created such positive results. Our next report will fill you in on September events with plenty of photos to give you the inside story on work at the Skenduli house.

See you then!

Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures

Links:

Apr 16, 2014

Grants Enhance Your Donations - Spreading Training Regionwide

Albanian students receive funding  to join work
Albanian students receive funding to join work

Those of you following the progress of skills training in Gjirokastra know that your generous support over the past few years has made a great impact on this World Heritage Site. Your donations have supported the preservation and continuing use of the city's iconic historic buildings, which in turn has spurred community development.

Our efforts are gaining momentum and others around the world are taking notice and adding their support. Two of AiP's international volunteers have received grants that will cover their cost to join work at the Skenduli house in September. AND includes some additional funds to help cover the cost of materials. Funding is being provided by the International Specialist Skills Institute that supports Australian professionals in gaining additional skills overseas, and The Zibby Garnett Travelling Fellowship that encourages those studying and working in building conservation to gain practical experience abroad, when not available in the UK.

Thanks to these two funding organizations, AiP is now able to use a greater percentage of your donations to cover expenses for Gjirokastrans wanting to work and learn at the Skenduli house. A group from the Gjirokastra regional office of the Directorate of National Culture will be attending; they'll use their new skills to help others in the region save, restore and use their historic buildings. This work is very important because preserving their cultural heritage is the region's only viable path to a sustainable economy, one based on heritage tourism.

We need your continued generosity in order for the September project to be a success. The impact of your donations will not only be felt at the Skenduli house, but will be spread to outlying areas of the region as members of the Directorate share their new expertise. As a result, you will have a direct effect on efforts to raise the standard of living for many people in the region.

We invite you to join this effort and see the results!

Albert Kasi of Directorate prepares for Sept
Albert Kasi of Directorate prepares for Sept
Details of cultural heritage being lost
Details of cultural heritage being lost
Cultural landscape brings heritage tourism
Cultural landscape brings heritage tourism

Links:

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