Fifty Shades of Ancient Ink
Michael Maggen will survey the astounding survival and preservation of three remarkable Jewish artifacts. First, the Dead Sea Scrolls, focusing on a segment of a Genesis scroll. Second, the Aleppo Codex, which is the earliest, fullest, and most accurate version of the Hebrew Bible. He will survey the book’s dramatic history, its rescue from Aleppo, and its 7 – year restoration. Finally, Maggen will speak about the miraculous recovery and the conservation of the diary of the Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, who died in the Columbia space shuttle crash, focusing on the rare collaboration between the Israel Police and the Israel Museum laboratories to decipher and preserve the diary.
Michael Maggen graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and continued on to study conservation in Rome. Upon his return to Israel in 1985, he began working at the Israel Museum and soon embarked upon one of his most important projects – the restoration of the renowned “Aleppo Codex”. Michael took part in the preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, rare Jewish manuscripts, books, prints, drawings and more. About 18 years ago he was appointed Head of the museum’s Paper and Parchment Conservation Laboratory. Michael has published numerous articles, and participated and lectured at international conferences and workshops.