Michael Maggen ilan ramon

Virtual Lecture – Sand and Stardust: Resurrecting Stories Burned by Space and Time

When The Columbia Space Shuttle exploded on February 1, 2003, it took the lives of seven astronauts, including Israeli Ilan Ramon. Most of what Ramon carried with him into space was also lost, including a miniature torah scroll and a copy drawing by Holocaust victim Peter Ginz titled ‘Moon Landscape’. Though badly damaged, one of Ramon’s prized possessions was recovered and restored: his astronaut crew notebook which served as his diary.

Hear from world-renowned conservator Michael Maggen who was tasked with the mission to restore and decipher Ramon’s personal writings. At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where Maggen works, Ramon’s Diary was featured at the center of an exhibit that also told the ancient story of Enoch—the first Jewish Astronaut—from the Dead Sea Scrolls, a document conserved for the Shrine of the Book.

Maggen will highlight the relationship between the stories of Enoch, Peter Ginz and Ilan Ramon while also addressing his work as a conservator on these ground-breaking projects.

DATE: Sunday, January 22, 2023
TIME:
 12:00 p.m.
LOCATION:
 Zoom*
COST: 
Museum Members $5 | Nonmembers $12

*VIEW THE VIRTUAL PROGRAM AT JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE AND GET FREE ADMISSION TO SEE THE MUSEUM.

Linda and Eli Frank
Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest

Michael Maggen graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in 1982 and continued on to study conservation at the Italian Institute for Pathology of the Book in Rome, Istitutto Centrale per la Patologia del Libro. In 1985, he began to work as conservator in the Israel Museum and soon began one of the most important projects of his career – the restoration of the famous manuscript “Allepo Codex” – a project he was involved in for seven years. 

During his many years at the Israel Museum, Michael took part in the preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, rare medieval Jewish manuscripts, books, prints, drawings and much more. In 2007, he was appointed Head of the Paper and Parchment Conservation Laboratory at the museum.

In connection with Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, October 28, 2022 – February 5, 2023.

Image: Michael Maggen separating the pages of Ilan Ramon’s diary in the Israel Museum laboratory (photo credit: ISRAEL MUSEUM)

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