The Department of State began identifying their valuable “collection items” in 1983 by having the first professional appraisal done of the items housed in their properties in the Rome Embassy. To date over 350 items described as tapestries and rugs have been identified. However, the government cataloging system used lacks details regarding the textiles in the collection. Identifiers and descriptions are assigned at the embassies where the expertise in describing the culturally significant items is lacking. For example, instead of providing an accurate description such as “Tapestries/Wall Hangings, a generic description, “Art/Cultural Item” is used. We know many of the textiles have a highly significant value, such as the one shown above, valued at $40,000. We also know that many area damaged or in a deteriorated state.
Complete condition assessment, conservation and cataloging of the Department’s textile collection.