Ruin or Restore?
Seminar on conservation problems

Different approaches to conservation and conservation education will be the topics discussed during an evening seminar to be organised by the Institute for Conservation and Restoration Studies at the Malta Centre for Restoration (MCR) on Wednesday 23rd July.

Over the years some ërestorationsí have often produced a work of art which is quite different from the original.  Should this be permissible? How do you avoid a restoration resulting in a completely different work which the original artist would probably not recognise? What is the role of the education received by the conservator-restorer in achieving the right ethical balance in a conservation project? Are there still restoration schools  teaching a philosophy of conservation which permits a measure of artistic expression to the conservator-restorer? In practice, for example, how do you avoid ending up with a portrait of a woman with three different eyes painted by three different "restorers" in at least three different places?

These are just some of the questions which will be tackled during the next in the series of MCR seminars on conservation of cultural heritage.  The seminar entitled "As good as new?" will open with  a presentation on "Principles and Pragmatism historical developments in conservation education." In this paper, Joe Cannataci, Martina Caruana and Joseph Schiroí will identify no less than twelve different categories of conservation education which have developed in Europe during the period 1933-2003 and refer to some of the major thinkers who have left an impact on the teaching of conservation theory. Dr. Cannataci, Mr. Schiroí and Dr. Caruana are respectively Chairman, Director and Deputy Director of the Malta Centre for Restoration and they also lecture within the MCRís Institute for Conservation & Restoration Studies.

The MCRís paper will set the context for a second presentation, this time on Methodological approaches in conservation in Slovakia: past and present perspectives.  In this paper, Zuzana Bauerova will explain how a philosophy of conservation developed within the "Vienna School" before the Second World War and how this was then implemented by Slanski in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s and early ëfifties.  Ms. Bauerova will also examine the extent to which this philosophy accepts a level of artistic expression within conservation and illustrate some of the practical problems encountered to date.  Zuzana Bauerova qualified as a paintings conservator at the Academy of Fine Art & design in Bratislava and then graduated in History of Art from the Comenius University Bratislava. She is currently researching the impact of art historical theories on conservation practices in Central Europe and is a member of the ICOM-CC committee of the Slovak republic.

The Seminar will commence at 18.30 and will be held in the Awla George Whitmore in the East Wing at MCRís Bighi campus in Kalkara. The general public is invited and entrance is free. Since the Seminar will also be broadcast live by satellite to MCRís IKONOS partners in Greece, Jordan and Morocco, members of the audience should be seated by 18.15.

Problems arising from multiple restoration interventions: an example from Slovakia

Malta Centre for Restoration
Incorporating   The Institute for Conservation and Restoration Studies
Bighi, Kalkara CSP12 ­ Malta
Tel: (+356) 21 80 76 75/ 21 80 76 76   Fax: (+356) 21 67 44 57
Chairmanís  Secretariat Fax: (+356) 21 82 16 09
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