Palestinians restore and replicate historic mosaics

Palestinians are restoring historic mosaics

Location: Jericho, West Bank

and creating replicas of the existing ones

Osama Hamdan founded the Mosaic Centre

to protect a heritage his ancestors have known for over 2,000 years

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF MOSAIC CENTRE, OSAMA HAMDAN, SAYING:

"The Mosaic Centre is set to revive the mosaic art in Palestine. There is interest, and we see it growing everyday, also people are becoming more aware of this beautiful art. It used to be part of our homes in the past, but now it's an art because it needs effort, it takes a long time and needs a high sensitivity to art. It is drawing by stones, it is harder than mixing up oil or water colors, because when you mix them you get art but these are natural stones which we have in our nature, in the Holy Land and in Palestine. We can make a mosaic that has a message and is also beautiful."

Some Palestinians have found pleasure working in the center

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN MEMBER OF MOSAIC CENTRE TEAM, NEMEH SHAWA, SAYING:

"It needs concentration, time, effort and accuracy. As you can see here, the paint is drawn with a stick and we will make a replica from stones. We make it look the same in details as the paint. This piece is sold for the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth. Two kinds of stones are used to make it: natural stones and glass. We have in Palestine around 24 colors of natural stones, we bring them from quarries, mountains and valleys."

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