sábado, setembro 29, 2012

CIPEG 2012

CIPEG 2012 participants
Having been so fortunate that I could contribute again to the yearly discussion on Egyptian Collections, I went to Brussels this year to join my beloved colleagues.

The venue was the exquisite Musée du Cinquantenaire, in the centre of Brussels, surrounded by the lovely parq, which had morning Tai-Chi practitioners in its gardens and crows who recognize you on your way to the Museum.

The lectures given were all about the policies of CIPEG, an ICOM comittee, and the work in Egypt. Missions, warehouses, digs, all issues regarding antiquities, illicit trading, measures taken in the last year, how the financial crisis is affecting museums and collections, new exhibitions being planned, refurbishments, museums being closed, new policies and activities aiming at the public...

I went to have lunch at the new local Hard Rock Cafe, went to the Tintin Boutique and back to the museum.
Sekhmet at the Cinquentenaire

At the fifth floor in the museum building there is the office of the Association Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, which has excellent publications, and we had the pleasure of having dear Martine, the Secretary of the Association, helping in the conference organization.

We had an excellent and original social programme; on the first day we went to visit the Exhibition Edouard and Cleopatra at Villa Empain.
In this magnificent villa, recently reconstructed from almost debris-state, we saw the Egyptomania collection which included Cartier pieces, clocks from the Musée François Duesberg, in Mons, Belgium, and tobacco boxes, paintings and other artefacts.

Some ancient Egyptian artefacts were included in the exhibition and I was especially happy to learn about the history of the building, given to us by madame Diane Hennebert, Directrice of the Boghossian Foundation.

Later on we moved down the road to the Egyptian embassy for a cocktail party, where we were treated like royalty, and had the pleasure of meeting the ambassador, a lady who is a fan of our fado singer Amalia.

Chatting about excavations, the political situation in Egypt, our past stories about education, classes, work, teachers, colleagues, etc...

No alcohol involved, but good food (Egyptian).

The second day there were great lectures by some of my dearest colleagues. I had lunch at the museum restaurant with my colleagues and then I took the opportunity to check the Egyptian collection after lunch, with some of my closest colleagues and chat about some details. It was really great. I also checked the museum shop and still catch the last lectures of the day. Free evening to relax.

The next day I went to the conference in the morning and had lunch with some colleagues and then I skipped the afternoon lectures to see a bit of Brussels. Went to the Musée Juif.
Walked own the street, went up in the elevator and entered the Palais de Justice, a gorgeous building, unfortunately covered at the moment by scaffolding...

Walked a lot this day...but I managed to pass through a big comics' shop and buy souvenirs for friends (Tintin)...

Just had a stop at the hotel to relax a bit, check my emails and change for the social evening 'chez' our host. I met one of my colleagues on the metro and we went, Sherlock Holmes' style, to check the UNESCO heritage Stoclet Palace, which has friezes and paintings by Klimt, private, closed, interdit/forbidden to the public. Chains prevented us from spying more...

After our little 'spying' we went to the cocktail party and had lots of fun!!

The food was exquisite, a mix of art and tasty textures...we all had a great time admiring the art and chatting.

I was wondering if it was safe to go back to the hotel by metro but it was ok, I had company until half of the trip and I walked to the hotel safely.

But I could not refrain myself from observing the homeless, the construction being done (noisy but necessary), and the garbage accumulated in the station.
I believe, from my trips that Lisboa has one of the most luxurious subways of Europe...

The last day I was scheduled to be the first, and it went quite well. I have to thank colleagues for providing help and suggestions, as well as the interest generated by Portuguese collections abroad. Would like to stress that, anyone who is interested in checking the list, can send me a message/comment just asking for it.

me and Sekhmet at the Cinquentenaire
Had another peak at the mummy room and chatted more with the colleagues, before heading back to the hotel to get my luggage, go to the airport and fly home.

The embroiderer
Have to say that I was amazed at the embroiderer, a Coptic mummy found with all her tools, which I will look into more deeply in the future, as it must be a very interesting subject.

Also noticed a relief with a man working in a sellar, in what seems to be a wine-making workshop, but the fruits seemed too big to be grapes and the vertical ondulating strips too big to be flames. The curator called my attention to the almost vanished leaves; so the strips were actually branches, and then I figured out what kind of beverage it was. DATE WINE!

Came back with my soul filed with joy as I made new friends in Brussels, met old ones, learned more, saw beautiful things, experienced tasty food, had an exquisite red Merlot...enfin...a great trip.

My last though goes to the wine...all the time...

Date wine workshop, Musee du Cinquentenaire, Bruxelles

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