Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Behold the man: understanding the importance of conservation

In our quick-fix, do-it-yourself culture, sometimes individuals don't understand the repercussions of not calling in the appropriate professional. Sometimes everything works out for the best...but sometimes there are catastrophic repercussions.

Here is one such example of the damage caused by an elderly Spanish woman on a century-old oil painting of Christ called "Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)" that was painted on a column inside a church near Zaragoza, Spain, by artist Elias Garcia Martinez. It holds a great deal of sentimental value for local parishioners.

Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo (left) and the restoration

The saddest part (aside from the resulting image)? Apparently, the local centre that works to preserve artworks had just received a donation from the painter's granddaughter which they had planned to use to restore the original fresco.

Unfortunately, this reminds us that there is no such thing as an amateur conservator, and that those attempting restoration should not underestimate the damage that can be done by those who do not possess the skills or wherewithal to do the job properly. I am sure that there are many more similar stories out there. I think that the lesson that we can take from this story is that there is still a great need to educate and engage the public regarding conservation, and to instill in them the desire to contact accredited conservation professionals should the need arise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

My blog list