Department of Egypt and Sudan
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
The British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (BMSAES) is a peer-reviewed, academic publication.
BMSAES is dedicated to presenting research on aspects of ancient Egypt and Sudan and the representation of those cultures in modern times. It is available to view and download free of charge.
Launched in 2002 as one of the first Egyptological online journals, it has moved from being a responsive journal to a platform for publishing groups of papers around particular themes, such as Egyptian papyri or studies on ancient Naukratis.
The journal offers scholars the opportunity to include a large number of colour images, and other multimedia content where appropriate. Articles do not need to concern British Museum objects or projects, and accepted papers will be published as soon as possible – there is no defined publication deadline, as with print journals.
Issue 26 comprises of an article concerned with the transfer of ancient Egyptian wall paintings. It was encouraged by research into the historic transfer and conservation history of the wall painting from Tomb 100 at Hierakonpolis, now at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The painting was conserved and redisplayed in Gallery 43 as part of the EU-funded project Transforming the Egyptian Museum Cairo.
During the Covid-19 pandemic when work had to be halted and most team members were working from home, the research developed into a more general interest in the practice of the transfer of ancient Egyptian wall paintings, and the subsequent associated conservation interventions. The subject is relevant not only to the current treatment of wall paintings which were historically transferred, but also in the rare present occasions where transfer may be the only option to rescue a painting.
Available in English and Arabic, this article draws attention to the highly interventive nature of this irreversible process, as well as the complications faced both in past operations and in the current remedial conservation work required to re-back or stabilise earlier transfers. It aims to inform future conservation work, planning and intervention. It may help avoiding problems by learning from the mistakes of the past, while building on current practice.