Costas’ Visit to London (ITP 2014)

Hello!! I am Costas Vasiliadis, a conservator of sculptures from the Acropolis Museum, ITP participant of 2014. This is the first time I am writing for the blog since October 2014, when I was chosen to be the Dresden Fellow, so I wanted to tell you about my last visit in London.

I travelled to London for a week’s trip with some colleagues from the Acropolis Museum on the 27th of August. The purpose of our visit was to study the Parthenon 15th South Metopes which are in the British Museum.  The Metopes are a series of marble panels – 92 in total- above the columns of the Parthenon. Apart from studying, taking photos and measurements, and keeping technical notes, we did photogrammetric 3D scanning of the Metopes.

Costas photographing the metopes (Ionna)However, after participating in the ITP in 2014, to return to the British Museum was more than a simple visit for work. It was a good opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends and it was emotional to remember all the great things we did there. Also I had the feeling that I was going back to a very welcoming and familiar environment and, as Ian Jenkins said the first day I met him, I felt in a way a “resident of this house”.

Unfortutately, the ITP had already finished for this year, so I was not able to meet the participants of 2017, but I contacted Hayk Mkrtchyan (ITP 2014, Armenia and Senior Fellow 2017) to say that I was coming and to arrange to meet him for a coffee or lunch.

Our first working day started with a visit to the Parthenon galleries, keeping notes and trying to organise the work as best as we could for the following days. It was really great to meet again with my colleagues from the Department of Greece and Rome. Their help with our work and their warm welcome was really amazing.

Costas 2

With Hayk Mkrtchyan (Senior Fellow 2017) and Claire Messenger (ITP Manager)

I did have a bad experience while I was in London – my mobile phone was stolen – but I managed to contact my best friend in London and colleague in the BM, Duygu Camurcuoglu and she also contacted Claire. The next day I met Duygu, Claire and Hayk for lunch in the canteen of the BM, we exchanged our news and they gave me a mobile phone from the ITP project for the days I was in London. It is really amazing how safe and welcomed I felt. I felt even stronger and luckier for being part of the ITP family.

Costas 3

Down the pub!

The days that followed, kept me very busy with the metopes, visiting some exhibitions and wandering a bit with my colleagues in London. Duygu and Tracey Sweek from the Conservation Department, with Thomas Kiely and Alex Truscott, from the Department of Greece and Rome, organised some drinks in a local pub mixed with some very interesting conversations. We had a wonderful time that evening, although I was tired from work! I also felt very privileged when Duygu arranged a visit for me and my colleagues from Athens to the Conservation labs and I am really grateful for this!

It is really sad that I did not have time to meet more of my friends at the British Museum. The lack of time and problems of communication caused by the loss of my mobile did not allow me to see everyone, including Kusuma Barnett, which was a shame!

I left London on the 2nd of September feeling happy and full of emotions, thinking that we ITPers belong to a very big family which the ITP team managed in an amazing way to connect us. The days I was there, I realised how much I miss my friends from the ITP and I wish we could all meet again one day.