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I am very pleased to have had contact from the head of the Italian restoration.
I am informed that they do not yet know if the uncovered mural is by John Brill.
It may of course be that it will never be known. [Don]
I would be very happy if I could have contact also with the Al Burdy Company that is funding this excellent restoration.
Perhaps they could tell us more of their plans with regard to tourism at Bardiya. I shall attempt to contact them. [Don]
I visited the room in May 2009 on a tour of Tobruk and Sidi Rezegh battlefields.
A Syrian born Italian -based architect was restoring the building and had just uncovered a further mural.
It was quite an historic moment. A lot of effort is being put into restoration, including the opening up of a tunnel out onto the cliff face.
I must correct the above information, the team are Italian as first mentioned NOT Syrian but Jordanian born Italian. [Don]
re the newly uncovered mural I saw on 21 May, the restorer was almost reluctant to let me in as the building was officially closed for renovations; and I did appreciate being the first visitor to view it. (You do have my permission to post my information.) There seemed to be works going on all around including a large water pipe in a deep trench. Money is obviously being spent to improve infrastucture as well as the renovations to the John Brill room and associated buildings.
My real interest was in the Sidi Rezegh battlefield where my father (New Zealand Medical Corps) was captured on 28 Nov. 1941, and the John Brill room was an interlude included in the tour arranged for me.
The tunnel was an experience, as I do suffer from claustrophobia. A local guy sensing my nervousness took my hand and guided me through, much to my relief.
The view from the cliff face was stunning.
Jean Huppert (France) has kindly given permission for his recently taken photographs to appear on this site.
It can be seen that structural damage to the mural (cracks and broken plaster) have been repaired and graffiti removed.
It remains to be seen what other work if any will be done.
Apparently some restoration is also being done to the building itself, which will certainly aid tourism.
The lady in the picture is Jean's wife and the men are Italian artists.
Before and after pictures below showing cleaning. Note the white box.
Left is enlarged from an Andy Lamnea picture and right enlarged from a Jean Huppert picture.
Similarly in the windows area. The improvement is staggering and very welcome.
Well done to the restorers.
We can only hope some kind souls will keep the pictures coming over time.
If the restorers have seen this web-site it would be nice if they could contact me (via e-mail button) so that we may learn more of their methods and intentions.