Roman Mosaic Removal Roils French Locals 

News outlets are reporting outcry by the French citizens of Uzès over the removal and relocation of an ancient Roman mosaic to nearby Nimes for conservation. 

Uncovered in late March, these mosaics, which spread across more than 600 square feet, date to the first century and are believed to have been part of a decorative program in the ancient town of Ucetia. Almost immediately after their unearthing, the French National Institute for Archaeological Research (INRAP) began extracting portions of the mosaic to be sent to Nimes for safekeeping, as the site of mosaic’s discovery is slated for a new construction project. 

Though INRAP’s stated intent is return the mosaics following two years of restoration and research, the people of Uzès are fearful that the mosaics will never return to their original location. 

Further Reading:
Gareth Harris, “Removal of a rare Roman mosaic in southern France enflames local conservation groups” (The Art Newspaper, 17 April 2017). 

Roman Mosaic Unearthed in Southern France” (Archaeology, 30 March 2017). 

A conservator cleans the ancient mosaic room discovered in Uzès (Gard), 2017 (Image courtesy of The Art Newspaper/ © Denis Gliksman, INRAP)

One of the two central panels of the antique mosaic piece after cleaning, discovered in Uzès (Gard), 2017 (Image courtesy of The Art Newspaper/ © Denis Gliksman, INRAP).

Posted by Alexis Culotta

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