Artworks have always been admired, treasured and treated with great care to protect them from damage and deterioration. They were sheltered, repaired and treated in several ways, even during times of hardship such as war and natural disasters. Unfortunately, some treatments actually proved disastrous, causing permanent damage. But other treatments proved successful. This explains why we can still enjoy the splendour and magnificence of numerous masterpieces in our museums and galleries. The conservation community has learnt from past errors and success stories. Conservators-restorers have shared their experiences and made use of scientific equipment to find out what causes artworks to deteriorate and establish ways of preventing rapid deterioration. The prime goal consists in finding ways of effectively extending the lifetime of artworks. Such studies are made together with other professions - namely conservation scientists. Today conservation-restoration is scientifically-oriented. Yet many are those who still believe that conservation and restoration of artworks is carried out by artists or craftsmen. The European Confederation of Conservators-Restorers (ECCO), the conservation and restoration of artworks is a highly specialised profession and should be carried out by qualified and experienced individuals who are bound to follow strict Code of Ethics. Conservators-restorers should have at least a Bachelor and/or Master Degree in conservation-restoration studies awarded by an internationally-accredited university. In addition, the conservator-restorer should be warranted or licensed, guaranteeing a track record of quality and ethically-correct work. After all, the treatment of artworks carries a great responsibility. Since every artwork is unique, a thorough examination of the artwork has to be carried out before commencing treatment in order to determine its technique, deterioration, damage, history, significance and function. After understanding and documenting the artwork's unique characteristics and requirements, it will be then possible to establish a tailor-made treatment and/or recommendations on how to best take care of it. 


Meet David, the author of this website. He is a Maltese conservator-restorer of paintings and polychrome sculpture. He started studying in conservation-restoration during 1999, receiving his bachelor degree in 2003 and master degree in 2007. He is constantly committed in researching and in improving the quality of his work. After all paintings and polychrome sculptures deserve the best treatments possible. Conservation-restoration is equally challenging and rewarding. It necessitates interdisciplinarity and constant development of skills and knowledge through research and experience. This often leads to exciting new collaborations and discoveries. This leads to better analysis and treatment of artworks. There are no words to express the satisfaction and pride achieved upon saving a severely damaged work of art. The same could be told when the conservator-restorer manages to find effective means of protecting artworks from damage. Conservators-restorers can also conduct investigations of the location in which artworks are displayed or stored to verify whether the art collection is kept in an environment that favours their preservation (or otherwise). Artworks are often exposed to deteriorating agents - such as light and unstable relative humidity - that can cause artworks to deteriorate at a very fast rate. Artworks may be described as silent patients, unable to warn us of their risks until it is too late. Hence owners and managers of artworks are greatly encouraged to employ conservators-restorers to investigate art collections in situ. This would provide the possibility of maintaining and preventing/limiting damage and deterioration, reducing the necessity of expensive, lengthy treatments. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Preserving artworks will not only safeguard their value, but it also permits us to enjoy them and transmit them to our future generations.


For further information and comments please send an email to:  david@artandconservation.net     or phone: +356 79092683



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Original site version: 2003

deskrizzjoni bill-Malti: websajt fuq konservazzjoni u restawr ta' pittura u statwi polikkromi minn David Frank Bugeja, restawratur kwalifikat u professjonali Malti


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