Photo credits: Bijan Rohani and Azar Soheil.
Eugenio Galdieri 1925 - 2010
9 November. ICCROM is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Dr Eugenio Galdieri, founder and coordinator of the Associazione Italiana tra i Cultori dell'Architettura di Terra (Italian Association of Earth Architecture Experts, or AICAT) and former ICCROM collaborator. Dr Galdieri was best known for his restoration of Islamic monuments, his work on earthen architecture, and his extensive research, publishing and teaching activities.
Among his many activities, Dr Galdieri collaborated on restoration projects with the Italian Istituto per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (IsMEO, later renamed IsIAO). He managed a range of monumental restoration projects carried out by that institute in Iran, Afghanistan, and Oman. In 1980, he received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his conservation and structural reinforcement of the Ali Qapu, Chehl Sotoun and Hasht Behesht, a series of three pavilion and garden complexes in Isfahan, Iran.
From 1978 to 1983, Dr Galdieri lectured for the ARC course where he taught earthen conservation, earthen building materials, significance, and values. He also participated in ICCROM’s GAIA and TERRA projects together with Alejandro Alva Balderrama, then Director of the Architecture and Archaeological Sites Programme. Galdieri and Alva Balderrama also collaborated on a UNESCO mission to the Ashrafiyah mosque in Taiz, Yemen in 1980 to inspect and assess the mosque’s structural stability. A 1995 article by Alejandro Alva Balderrama (in Spanish) relates an episode of their work together on the Yemenite mosque, and demonstrates the affection with which Dr Galdieri was held by so many of his peers.
Dr Galdieri’s work in earthen architecture led him to become a member of both the Italian Committee of ICOMOS and the ICOMOS International Committee for the Study and Conservation of Earthen Architecture, in addition to founding and coordinating AICAT. In the 1990s, as part of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Galdieri directed projects for urban renovation and earth architectural conservation in the historic city of Sana’a, Yemen, as well as for conservation of the archaeological site of Penjikent, Tajikistan. Dr Galdieri was member of many cultural organizations internationally, and gave courses on Islamic art and architectural history in several universities located in Italy, France, and the United States.
On behalf of ICCROM I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and colleagues from all over the world. Dr Galdieri has left a lasting impact on the conservation of Islamic monumental heritage and on that of earthen heritage worldwide.
updated on: 9 November, 2010