Time transmits works of art to us while relatively degrading them. To preserve the original beauty of the work, restorers must understand, analyze, and restore it. Without bringing his/her personal touch, the artist helps a work to rise from its ashes.
The art restoration industry
Art restoration is not only craftwork giving a fresh new life to a work of art. If it is an important part of its mission, art restoration would be nothing without the work of reflection, documentation, experimentation that takes place beforehand. Indeed, how can one restore a deteriorated statue of Notre-Dame de Paris if one does not know what it originally looked like? If we have not tried to rediscover the techniques that were used to shape it? Erasing the traces of time requires going back in time too, to meet the craftsmen of the past so that his intervention does not betray the original.
Art restoration also comes to prevent the future effects of time. In an attempt to suspend its flight, he will implement techniques that aim to protect the work as well as possible in the future, a complex mission that, moreover, must be done in the respect of its original appearance.
Finally, it is also a consulting job and the restorer is often called upon for his expertise at first. He then defines if it is necessary to restore and if so, which interventions are necessary, and at the same time, he establishes a restoration plan with the techniques to be used.
The sector’s dynamism
Every year, restorations are carried out around the world, but each passing year also brings its share of damage and so it is as many new works that will need to be restored. But techniques are advancing rapidly and this is a field that is very sensitive to technological developments. The principles that guide the action of the restoration require to be always at the forefront of the technique, to always return to the closest to the original appearance of the creation. These techniques, moreover, must be reversible and the work of art restorers is always done with consideration of future and hypothetical technological advances.
Insertion into the professional world is not always easy even though the selection in the training courses is quite important.