Tel Aviv Through Conservators Eyes: Wall Paintings

Tel Aviv, the first “modern” Israeli city as established in 1909, is most widely recognized for her vast collection of Bauhaus and International Style architecture (aptly called The White City), is also home to a more eclectic style of building, that contains a secret behind layers of paint. In the early development of the city, immigrants from Europe brought their traditions and tastes to their new home, which included highly decorative wall coverings, that unfortunately due to the humid climate and salt air, did not fair well in Israel. In order to compensate, artisans began to mimic the intricate designs of wallpapers, through painting directly on the plastered walls, as had been done for millennia.

Over time, new tenants moved in, and fashion moved on, and the mural paintings and stenciling eventually was painted over to suit the “mode du jour”. In recent years, expert wall painting and artistic conservator and restorer, Shay Farkash and his team have led the way in exposing and restoring these once lost works or art. Examples of their works can be seen in Sarona: The Germany Colony of Tel Aviv, and in immaculately restored buildings along the fashionable Rothschild Boulevard.

This week, the interns of Saving the Stones have the opportunity of joining Shay and his team, in a ceiling restoration on the Nachalat Binyamin pedestrian mall in central Tel Aviv. They are learning the mechanical techniques of cleaning and preparing wall paintings for conservation, as well getting a taste of everything The White City has to offer!







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