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The GCI is working with the Institut National du Patrimoine of Tunisia and the World Monuments Fund to fully conserve one of the most important private residences in the city, the House of the Hunt, and to devise a plan for the long-term conservation and maintenance of the 400 mosaics that have already been unearthed at Bulla Regia over the past hundred years.
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The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has an exceptional collection of Roman floor mosaics from the Imperial era.
Some of them have been on display consistently, but others will be seen by the public for the first time in , a new exhibition that opened on Wednesday at the Getty Villa.
It features mosaics from provinces of the Roman Empire all over the Mediterranean — Italy, France, North Africa, Syria — done in different styles with different themes.
There’s bear hunt from Baiae, outside of Naples, a head of Medusa surrounded by a glorious optical illusion-inducing geometrical design from Rome, an Orpheus surrounded by animals from Saint-Romain-en-Gal, France, a hare and two birds with geometric border panels from Antioch, Syria, a dramatic lion attacking an onager from Hadrumentum, modern-day Sousse, Tunisia.
The Getty bought 23 panels of the in 1972 from a Switzerland-based antiques dealer (surprise!
) who told them only that it had been in an Italian collection.It was almost certainly illegally exported, but the museum looked the other way as it so often did.These are top quality artworks which adorned the homes of the very wealthy, public baths, even early Christian churches.The show also features a close look at the Getty Conservation Institute’s work conserving the mosaics from the Imperial Roman heyday of Bulla Regia in Tunisia, North Africa.Known for its unique villas with subterranean floors — smart design in the heat of Tunisia — Bulla Regia had the greatest numbers of senators in Roman North Africa.It was an important city and its exquisite art and architecture testify to that importance.