the online magazine No. 9, April 2009

Crisis and Opportunity: a glance towards the Economics of Conservation

The world is said to be in crisis. People are facing new realities and as our perspective of the world we live in changes, it also changes our own personal values. Although most of these problems initially started in the economic domain, we should not forget it is the economy that runs our entire existence. And cultural heritage is no exception. The economic value of Cultural Heritage is unquestionable: being part of the national identity, important for both local citizens and foreign visitors, tourism is a drive of progress, creating employment and originating revenue at local and national levels. It is obvious, thus, that conservation of the cultural stock is important. Despite this, there are virtually no studies of the economic impact on conservation of cultural heritage. European countries spend less than 1% of their gross domestic product on culture, of which conservation is only a tiny fraction. Cultural heritage and its protection are, however, presented as a priority in Europe. Isn’t that an apparent contradiction? Conservation is normally taken for granted by the general public and it is seen as a governmental role which automatically preserves and protects at all cost. However, lack of investment in conservation is the order of the day. And whoever is in the market right now is feeling it. Even more so, I dare to say, that investment in the conservation of cultural heritage was never as serious as in other fields considered to be of more importance. One of the problems of conservation is its economical sustainability, or its capacity for investment return, in order to maintain the cultural stock. When sustainability is assured, for example through tourism, I believe that the investment in conservation is even greater. However, we can not rely only on factors such as tourism, which are seasonal and tend to be volatile, as it has now been proved. Thus, protective strategies have to be engineered and implemented. These strategies should be drawn up by the many different actors in the field, among which conservators should be included. How conservation is made, who does it and its quality are essential aspects for the outcomes of those strategies. Beyond a general strategy, these must also have a local dimension. Conservationrestoration is usually a specialised service provided by small and medium enterprises which could benefit from measures to promote employment. Nowadays, due to the economic constraints several companies are being driven to bankruptcy, closing down due to the lack of work and often professionals are migrating to other fields seeing that they can’t survive on their true vocational path. Meanwhile, a large part of our precious specialised workforce is being lost. If we are to survive, to maintain our profession and its relevance to the protection of cultural heritage, we should also question the models we have been following so far and reassess our actions, from business models to services we provide to the society. Everything is open to reassessment. What better time to do it than now? Rui Bordalo, Editor in Chief
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CONFERENCE REVIEWS Securing the Future: Indigenous Cultural Maintenance Symposium
February 23, 2009, Melbourne, Australia Review by Jen Fortune, Kelly Leahey, Jane Manallack, Vanessa Pitt, Charlotte Walker and Nurul (Noni) Zachri


The Challenges of Conservation in Archaeology, Architecture and Museums: Turkey and Beyond
November 14-15, 2008, Istanbul, Turkey Review by Anca Nicolaescu


The Matter of Image: Old Portuguese Recipe Books and Treatises for the Preparation of Pigments Applied in Painting March 10, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal
Review by Rui Bordalo


May - June 2009




Rural Heritage Digitisation and Preservation: First Experiences of a Research
By Lia Bassa



The Conservation of Context. Montmaurin, the Venus of Arles and Mozart for Eternity
By Pierre-François Puech and Bernard Puech


The Role of Fungi in the Deterioration of Movable and Immovable Cultural Heritage
By Irene Arroyo



Study and Restoration of a 19th Century Oil Painting from the Slovak National Gallery
By Petra Hoffstädterová Dostálová and Jana Sanyova

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Târgoviste, Monuments at Risk. The Royal Church
By Oliviu Boldura and Anca Dinã



Review by Jen Fortune, Kelly Leahey, Jane Manallack, Vanessa Pitt, Charlotte Walker and Nurul (Noni) Zachri

February 23, 2009 Melbourne, Australia Website

Organisers: The University of Melbourne, Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) In collaboration with: Australian Commercial Galleries Association (ACGA); Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT); Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development.

Art sales in Indigenous communities provide funds to support a variety of Indigenous health and community empowerment programs that are not currently funded by any other means. Indigenous culture is used by all Australians to build economic and professional bases for activities that include museum and gallery attendance and sales, the ever-increasing trade in the art market, music industry development, dance and theatre, and education programs at all levels. However, a recent Senate Inquiry

indicated that current funding, education, legislation, and support to develop sustainable cultural maintenance and development programs run for or by Australian Indigenous communities is inadequate. It is clear that current support to the Indigenous cultural sector is not equivalent to the wider societal benefits. On the 23rd of February 2009, the University of Melbourne and the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) in collaboration with the Australian Commercial Galleries Association (ACGA), the Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT), and the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural
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Development hosted the first ever Indigenous Cultural Maintenance Symposium. A key objective of this symposium was to investigate issues raised by the 2007 Senate Report Indigenous Art – Securing the Future, and the subsequent Government response. The symposium brought together a diverse range of people, including Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders and intellectuals, industry stake-holders, and artists involved in the Australian Indigenous arts and crafts sector. Indigenous representation in the event was strong, as two thirds of the speakers were Indigenous. Jason Eades, CEO of the KHT and a Gunai man from Orbost, presented an opening address, which followed a Welcome by the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, and an Acknowledgement of Country presented by Michelle Evans. Eades voiced the importance of protecting Indigenous artists against unfair trading practices. He discussed the need for support for artists to protect themselves and their art from unscrupulous art dealers and art practices. Eades identified that “a strong and healthy community has a strong and healthy culture”, and part of the Art Centres’ duties is the intergenerational transmission of that culture through education and training. There was a lively discussion following his talk that focused on the feelings of disconnection experienced by many Aboriginal youth from their culture. It was suggested that the internet may be used as a tool for reestablishing connection, as it had become a communications medium for the new generation. The day was divided into lectures and discussions surrounding three topics: Programs and Industry Responses, and Indigenous Identity, Art and Culture; Community and Artists; and Education, Scholarship and Knowledge.
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In the first lecture session, Beverly Knight (ACGA President) gave an overview of the ACGA’s role and participation in the Senate Inquiry. Knight believes that the ACGA can play an important role in education, participation, fair representation and development of Australian Indigenous artists’ careers. The need for the Australian government to act more decisively to reduce the exploitation of artists was mentioned. Lydia Miller (Executive Director) of the Australia Council (AC) provided an overview of the AC’s role in the arts industry. Miller spoke of issues in creating supportive infrastructure for Indigenous Australians, and defining goals and objectives to support key organisations. She sees art and cultural activities as an asset of modern communities which need to be developed through said infrastructure and funding. Christine Davidson (Executive Officer) of the Association of Northern, Kimberley, and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA), said that ANKAAA recognises the important relationship Indigenous Australians have in that region to their heritage, to sea and to country, which is at the core of their shared activity. Davison stated that ANKAAA are pushing for proper training for Indigenous people as Art Centre managers to ensure the continuation of these centres for the benefits of the community. While principally a place of producing and selling artwork, Art Centres also provide an opportunity for money to go back into communities and can function as a place of education, training, and a museum or “keeping” place. Professor Marcia Langton (Foundation Chair of Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne) was of the opinion that the current Aboriginal identity is “multi-plex”, not solely Aboriginal but a combination of many influences. Langton also outlined the issue of ethics and unscrupulous


practice in the art industry, including art fraud, authentication and provenance issues. While believing that people need to take individual responsibility, she stated that Indigenous artists also need to be given the means to be able to decline quick cash payments. One possible solution is to have an authentication label and ethical codes for Indigenous artworks, which would help serve to educate buyers on their provenance. The need for a policing mechanism and penalties to those who do not attend registration requirements was also discussed. Following the session, talk centred upon the power of consumers, both to exploit but also to make a difference. Official contracts were mentioned as a measure to help prevent exploitation of artists and consumers. The role of information technology in bringing communities together to foster communication about this issue was raised. It is believed that information technology is currently not used to its full potential due to inaccessibility in remote communities. Regarding contractual models, it was made clear that the design would specifically be for Australian Indigenous people and not copied from overseas models. The Wilin Centre’s Michelle Evans introduced the next group of talks, focused on community and artists. As Banduk Marika discussed in this session, when social issues are high on the agenda, the creation of art cannot always be a priority. Marika, a Yolngu elder from Yirrkala in Northeast Arnhem Land and Director on the Collections Council of Australia board, spoke about how she sees the relationship between country, community and art. Aboriginal identity is often represented through art and is part of the language of the community. However, as Marika stated, country comes first before art and an understanding of the Aboriginal art community cannot be obtained without first looking at social issues plaguing that community.

Elaine Terrick, Indigenous artist from East Gippsland, spoke about some of these issues, including her experiences imparting traditional knowledge to Indigenous youth. In order to maintain the culture of Indigenous communities, traditional knowledge must be transferred from the elders to Aboriginal youth. In Terrick’s experience, she has found this to be difficult to do, due to a lack of enthusiasm from the Aboriginal youth themselves. “How do we make art exciting enough so that kids will want to walk with us?” she asked. Terrick stated that following the traditional arts of one’s ancestors is of great importance and she is frustrated that while Aboriginal communities have a strong voice, they are not managing the communities themselves. She gave the example in East Gippsland, where Aboriginal people do not have administrative control of their own organisations. Evans discussed the ways in which the VCA’s Wilin Centre is unique in its education opportunities for Indigenous artists and related areas. Access to education, such as the Indigenous Arts Management course, fosters community by focusing not only on students but also the wider Indigenous arts sector. Ben McKeown, Melbourne based artist and descendent from the Wirangu people, is a VCA Masters of Visual Arts graduate and received academic support from the Wilin Centre during his studies. He spoke to Associate Professor Robyn Sloggett, Director of CCMC, about his background and art practice. McKeown discussed how his connection to country has been affected by the constant moving of his family in his youth. For him family and community support is of great importance to artists and one of his reasons for attending VCA was to learn to articulate himself as an artist. McKeown’s work changes to suit the environment, combining not only his Aboriginal culture, but his experiences at large.
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One of McKeown's paintings, titled 'I Wonder', was used the production of posters, brochures and other forms of advertisement for the event. This session revealed the dynamic culture of Indigenous arts and demonstrated different views and approaches, both in the meaning and creation of works of art. Recognising the different requirements for different Aboriginal people was reiterated. Lyndon Ormond-Parker and Gary Pappin from eMob spoke about their work documenting and cataloguing Aboriginal artifacts and human remains held in international collections, making this information accessible to Australian Aboriginal people through digital technology. The project aims to encourage Aboriginal artists to reclaim their cultural birthright and revive connections with material held overseas, thereby rejuvenating cultural practices in relation to that material. The database has been created in consultation with Aboriginal communities Australia wide, however it is not just for Aboriginal people, but rather an opportunity to bridge the gap in the cultural exchange with other artists in the country. Parker and Pappin hope to extend the database to include information relating to fundraising opportunities, and scholarships with universities. Judith Ryan, Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) for Indigenous Art was the final speaker of the symposium. She spoke about the important work the NGV does to research and document the provenance of all Indigenous artworks held in their collection. With regards to new acquisitions, it is NGV policy to buy work only when the provenance is known, and they prefer to purchase from Art Centres and ethically represented Indigenous artists. Over the breadth of the symposium we heard from a variety of speakers who presented different views
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and experiences, and there are of course many more views from people across the country. As with all living culture, the Aboriginal culture is constantly evolving and adapting to modernisation. New tools may be used alongside traditional tools, and yet the final product will be no less Aboriginal. The symposium had the desired outcome of being beneficial for all concerned with many participants expressing an interest in continuing discussions in the near future. The invaluable information and recommendations gathered from the Indigenous Cultural Maintenance Symposium will soon be made available in a formal publication of proceedings. About the authors Jen Fortune, Kelly Leahey, Jane Manallack, Vanessa Pitt, Charlotte Walker, and Nurul (Noni) Zachri are all students of the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation program at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. These six students, under the guidance of Associate Professor Robyn Sloggett, developed and managed the Indigenous Cultural Maintenance Symposium.

Cave painting of man playing didgeridoo. Photo by cimabue, August 14, 2007. Some rights reserved.



Review by Anca Nicolaescu November 14-15, 2008 Istanbul, Turkey Organisers: The Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations http://rcac.ku.edu.tr/ The Department of Archaeology and History of Art, Koç University http://www.ku.edu.tr

An International Symposium organized by the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations and the Department of Archaeology and History of Art, Koç University, took place in Istanbul on 14 15th November 2008. Through its topic, The Challenges of Conservation in Archaeology, Architecture and Museums: Turkey and Beyond, the symposium covered a wide range of actual issues important for the future of conservation field in Turkey, from both the philosophical and technical point of view. As Jerry Prodany from J.P. Getty Museum was saying in his keynote speech, Turkey is facing a big challenge in finding its own way of dealing with the immense and varied amount of heritage and its preservation. Therefore, such a symposium which gathered specialist speakers from all over the world was very inspiring and welcomed.

Alessandra Ricci - associate Director RCAC, Prof. Dr. Sami Gülgöz – dean, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Koç University and Ismail Karamut - director of the Archaeological Museum addressed the symposium’s welcoming message, emphasizing its main goal of understanding the importance of a comprehensive view in dealing with such a variety of heritage - monuments, artifacts and excavations that are taken place in living cities. In his keynote speech - “Why and for whom: Professionalism and Change in Conservation”, Jerry Prodany made a brief history of conservation following the evolution of the terminology and its principles, raising questions regarding the definition of heritage values, for whose memory we preserve it and for how long we plan to: one generation, many, millenniums? He spoke about how, all those problems, together with the
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context or object’s symbolism, are influencing the conservation approach. Trying to analyze Turkey situation he pointed out that conservation must be dynamic, even though “Charters are important in unifying our effort” they must be in concordance with the specificity of the country and its heritage. Concerning Turkey’s issues he took into account the complexity of the country where tourism is a national resource and thus, heritage is “consumed” by huge amounts of visitors (24 millions in 2007). Therefore “it can not be just one model that Turkey can look at, within the envelope of EU it must find its own solutions” to improve its management and maintenance in handling its cultural heritage. The presentation was followed by animated discussions about the significance of interdisciplinary work in the conservation field, the necessity of specialists and professional organizations. Alessandra Rossi made an interesting parallel regarding the need of a wide view approaching when dealing with heritage preservation. Giving an example from archaeology where there are different ways of quarrying, either digging “holes” or working in wide excavation - “cliff approaching”, she draw attention to the fact that monuments are sometimes regarded as simple built heritage, loosing thus their authenticity given by the whole contextual factors of the site. The symposium had three sections covering the architecture, wall paintings and archaeological conservation. Each section had interesting presentations done by specialists invited from all over the world, giving thus various examples and different points of view and making possible the ideas exchange. During the section concerning the architecture conservation there were three talks covering different issues. The case study presented by
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A view from the presentation of Martin Bachmann from DAI , Alman Arkeoloji Enstitütü, entitled"Recent Restoration work of the DAI in Pergamon”.

Martin Bachmann from German Archaeological Institute, discussed the “Recent Restoration Work of the DAI in Pergamon“ which was opened for public in 2004. The presentation “Consolidation of Natural Stones used in the Facades of Dolmabahçe Palace” done by Ahmet Ersen, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi (ITU) focused on the experimental work aimed to research the efficacy of the consolidants by evaluating the changes in the physical properties of the untreated and treated samples of the respective tuff stones. An ample talk regarding “On site and Laboratory Investigation for the Diagnosis of Historic Buildings” was given by Luigia Binda from Politecnico di Milano. Through the examples presented from Italy and Vietnam she highlighted the necessity of a ”better knowledge of the materials and the structure of the buildings” for enhancing the quality of the interventions. The use of modern materials and technologies were proved to be inadequate during recent earthquakes due to the incompatibility with the original ones. Even more, the presentation was very interesting giving a very good systematization of the ways of designing the structural investigations, diagnosis and new procedures for investigation.


Luigia Binda, Politecnico di Milano, “On site and Laboratory Investigation for the Diagnosis of Historic Buildings”.

Fazlı Açıkgöz, Niğde Müzesi, “ The 2007-2008 Documentation, Conservation and Restoration Works of the Wall Paintings of the Old Andaval Church of Constantine and Helena in Niğde”.

The wall painting conservation section comprised two talks from the Turkish part. A case study regarding the restoration works done in 20072008 campaign on the wall paintings from the Old Andaval Church of Constantine and Helena in Nigde was presented by Fazli Açikgöz from Nigde Muzeum. Gülseren Dikilitaş, a freelance conservator, made an assessment of the current state of knowledge regarding identification of the degradation and the passive conservation of the wall paintings from archaeological sites in Turkey. The second day was dedicated to the conservation of archaeological objects, having as topics: “Conservation at Archaeological Excavations: Sharing Responsibilities or Not?” by Hande Kökten, from Ankara University (Turkey) and “Mosaic Conservation between Knowledge and Operative Methods” presented by Claudia Tedeschi from the School for the Restoration of Mosaics, Ravenna (Italy). A very interesting paper was presented by Andy Holbrook, Collection care manager from the Imperial War Museum, London (UK): “Conservation and Conservation: A brief report on how IWM (Imperial War Museum) and UK Museums are beginning to tackle environmental management in a climate of global warming”.

The project demonstrated how it is possible to achieve a sustainable environment through cheaper, more efficient and effective means. Without using sophisticated high tech equipment or interventions, the problem of environmental management was solved through simple passive solutions after a systematic and meticulous research of the space (the museums buildings are usually converted to meet the necessity of a museum and therefore not very efficient) and of the exterior and interior environment and possibilities, causes and effects. He showed that, in the case of the Imperial War Museum, only by blocking up the windows and insulating them on both sides, the stabilization of the microclimate, easy to be controlled in a professional way, and the reduction of the energy losses were achieved. Ending the successful symposium, Orkan Köyağasiöğlu from the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), Turkey, spoke about “Conservation and study of ancient shipwrecks: The importance of conservation in understanding ancient ship construction and reassembling of shipwrecks”. Showing how important is the cooperation between archaeologists and conservators on the excavation sites for better understanding of the technologies and best treatment solutions, he highlighted once again the importance of the
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interdisciplinary work in a conservation and research project. This last presentation of the symposium made actually the connection with one of the excursion offered by the organizers to the participants at the impressive ongoing archaeological excavation at the Yenikapı site. During the construction works for building a tube underneath Bosphorus and connecting the continents of Europe and Asia, in 2004 the site of the Byzantine commercial harbour of Theodosius has been discovered. According to the researches done by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) from Bodrum, the harbour “was in use from 4th century until rivers silt filled it in around 1500”, and became the greatest nautical archaeological site of all times.

Due to the conditions of the soil which remained very damp long after the harbor silted up it was possible for the archaeologists to recover amazing sensitive artifacts witnessing the Byzantines’ trade and military power, such as 32 shipwrecks including the first Byzantine galleys ever found, a huge amount of artifacts, several docks, buildings and even a church foundation. Still, during Yenikapı excavation the history of Istanbul went back further than it was previously thought when four Neolithic burials where unearthed, revealing that there were settlements dating back 8000 years. Thus, the symposium concluded in the breathtaking Yenikapı site, where the attendance had the extraordinary chance to experience and recall its topic, “Challenges of Conservation in Archaeology, Architecture and Museums”.
Left: Hande Kökten, Ankara Üniversitesi, “ Conservation at Archaeological Excavation: Sharing Responsibilities or Not?”

Claudia Tedeschi, School for Restoration of Mosaic, Ravenna, “Mosaic Conservation between Knowledge and Operative Methods”
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AS MATÉRIAS DA IMAGEM: antigos receituários e tratados portugueses para preparação de pigmentos aplicados na pintura THE MATTER OF IMAGE: Old Portuguese Recipe Books and Treatises for the Preparation of Pigments Applied in Painting
Review by Rui Bordalo March 10, 2009, Lisbon, Portugal Organiser: Centre of History from the University of Lisbon For those interested in the study of art materials and techniques it is always a surprise to be able to attend a conference fully focused on a single, important historical source. I am refering to a Portuguese treatise on illumination, “O livro de como se fazem as cores” (or The book on how to make colours), dated 1262 and whose authorship is attributed to Abraham ben Judah Ibn Hayyim. This document is the oldest medieval JudeoPortuguese text and was written with Hebraic characters. The conference As Matérias da Imagem (The Matter of Image) was organised by the Centre of History from the University of Lisbon (CHUL) and was held in the Faculty of Letters (FLUL) of the same university in March 10th 2009. The event was organised for the dissemination of the work developed in a research project – “As Matérias da Imagem: os pigmentos na tratadística portuguesa entre a Idade Média e 1850” (The Matter of Image: pigments in Portuguese treatises from the Middle Ages to 1850) dedicated to the study of art technical treatises and performed by the Centre of History (CHUL) in partnership with the Department of Chemistry of the Faculty of Sciences (FCUL) from the University of Lisbon.

The conference was organised in 5 different sessions in order to offer an overview of the work performed in the project and covered various topics from the study of the treatise to the reproduction of pigments based on old recipes. The first two sessions were focused particularly on the study of the treatise, while the others comprised analytical studies of pigments and the study of the European context of technical literature production. The first session - O Livro de como se fazem as cores I - was presented by Ivo de Castro, Professor at FLUL, and Devon Strolovitch from the Cornell University (USA). As linguists, this first session focused on the particularities of the language used in the treatise. For those interested to know more about this topic, chapter 4 of Strolovitch’s PhD thesis is a critical edition of the book and it is available online at www.jmrg.org/strolovitch/ disspage/4.pdf. The second session - O Livro de como se fazem as cores II – was presented by Luís Urbano Afonso (FLUL/CHUL) and Mark Clarke from the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Luis Afonso presented the full history of the treatise since it was first studied by Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi in 1803. It was
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him who attributed the authorship to Abraham ben Judah Ibn Hayyim although this is no longer certain once several handwritings were identified in the book. Most likely the document was produced by copyists and through time each owner added some notes and comments to it. Mark Clarke’s presentation focused on the European context of the treatise. For most professionals, who are not knowledgeable of medieval art treatises, his presentation was a good introduction to the mediaeval production of art books. In fact, it was mentioned that most researches concentrate on the known Il libro dell'arte by Cennino Cennini and Theophilus manuscript while this treatise is seldom referenced. There are nearly 450 manuscripts in Europe that refer to art materials but while mostly are compilations, there are only few original treatises fully justifying the importance of the study of this book. It is believed that the manuscripts we know today are not original books from the workshop, where the artists use to write their instructions, but final versions from those books. The third session – Material Analysis of Portuguese Mediaeval Art – comprised two presentations. The first talk, given by Adelaide Miranda and Ana Lemos from the New University of Lisbon (UNL), focused on the formal comparison of the three mediaeval copies that are know in Portugal of the Aviarium (book I of De bestiis et aliis rebus), a book about birds. In detail, the technique and the colour of some illuminated figures were explained. The second talk was given by Maria João Melo, Catarina Miguel and Ana Claro from UNL and was focused on the identification of the materials used in the Aviarium by means of several analytical techniques. Apart the complete identification of the pigments and medium, interesting details were also revealed such as the practice to mix vermilion with red lead, most likely because the former was quite expensive. The origin of
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some materials in Portugal was also discussed, as indigo and a lake dye were identified and these materials were likely brought through Arab commerce. The forth session – Technical treatises for pigment preparation – included three presentations made by researches from the University of Lisbon (UL). The first talk was given by Vanessa Antunes and Isabel Dâmaso Santos, who had researched several documents, from contracts of the XVI century to treatises and XXI century dictionaries, and studied the etymology, the evolution of the history, use, variations and meanings of three preparation-related terms: preparação, imprimatura and aparelho. The second talk was given by Patrícia Monteiro from the Institute of Art History, who presented a study of the “Breve tratado de Iluminação”, an anonymous manuscript without date and whose author would have been from the Order of Christ. The manuscript is original, except for one chapter which was actually copied from the “Arte da Pintvra” by Philippe Nunes. It is composed of 88 folios and has not yet been published. Several references, however, to the techniques of many artists were found such as a varnish recipe used by El Greco and the description of the preparation of a panel by painters Vasco Fernandes and Luz Morales. Vitor Serrão, Professor at FLUL, spoke about pigments used in paintings from the XVI and XVII centuries and referenced in Portuguese contracts. It was noticed that despite the existence of nearly 1500 contracts from that time period, details concerning the art materials to be used are rarely mentioned. Unlike Spanish contracts, the Portuguese are profuse in vague terms such as the best or the richest when referring to materials. However, the researcher was able to compile a list of over 30 artist pigments. Finally, the fifth and last session – Reproducing recipes of pigment preparation in laboratory –


comprised three interesting presentations. The first was an experiment presented by Ana Paula Carvalho from FCUL. The researcher prepared lead white in laboratory conditions based on a recipe given by Philippe Nunes in “Arte da Pintvra” (1615). As the production of lead white is a naturally slow process, it was attempted to change several experimental parameters in order to assess their influence on the speed of the product reaction and transformation from lead to lead acetate and basic lead carbonate. The products obtained during the different steps of the experiment were analysed by analytical techniques. It was concluded that the temperature was not a fundamental parameter as it was not enough to precipitate the transformation while the presence of CO2 is a very important factor for the transformation. The second talk, given by P.M. Gonçalves from UL, was focused on the study of the traditional production of red lead. For this, a traditional wood oven was used and the oven temperature was monitored in order to correlate it with the shades obtained by the heating. The last presentation was made by António João Cruz from the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, who presented a comparative study between the “Livro de como se fazem as cores” and the “Mappae Clavicula”, which is a compilation dating from the year 821-822 but with additions from the XI and XII centuries. For the comparative study of the recipes, a series of less common materials were selected in order to maximise the probability of finding comparisons: ouro músico (“music gold”), azul de prata (copper acetate), azarcão (minium), azinhavre (verdigris) and vermilion. It was found that there are some similarities but in fact no close connections could be made, which underlines the complete originality of the “Livro de como se fazem as cores” as a treatise. Nevertheless, an influence at the vocabulary level concerning the use planet names to designate metals was noticed by the author.

The conference highlighted the importance of the study of old manuscripts and treatises for the technical art history. The historical knowledge of art materials is relevant not only for the history of art but also in other fields such as conservation and it can be also very helpful in the study and technical analysis of paintings. It is a highly interesting subject that I would like to find more often in publications. The conference has shown that the study this important treatise is not as developed as thought so I would like to congratulate the project promoters to have taken this step forward. Moreover, I look forward to seeing the conference postprints and the results of the project published by the organiser.

Cultural Heritage Disaster
Disaster risk management should be a priority in the protection of Cultural Heritage. Earthquakes are unpredictable and may often be the cause of immeasurable losses. This was the case of the Italian city of L’Aquila that was devastated by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake on 6th April 2009. L’Aquila, the capital city of the Abruzzo region in central Italy, is merely at 100 km from Rome. The epicentre was located at 7 km from L’Aquila and reports said that the destruction was verified on a 30 km radius reaching several historic villages such as Villa Sant’Angelo or Borgo di Castelnuovo. The first efforts were devoted to rescue the possible survivors but the loss of lives and homes is devastating: a total of 294 people were killed, 28,000 were left homeless and up to 15,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. After the rescue operations the attention shifted to the cultural heritage. In mid April, the
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Ministry of Culture started an inventory of the churches, historic building and their respective contents in the region of Abruzzo. According to the Italian ministry of Culture, at least 500 historic churches have been destroyed or damaged in the catastrophe. The historical centre of the city was completely devastated. The transept of the 13th century basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio collapsed. The cupola of the Santa Maria del Suffragio church cracked leaving the stucco at open sight. Among the damaged churches was also Sant’Agostino church, which dome collapsed onto the city’s historical archives. Rare documents were later salvaged from the building, such as the 13th century charter granting city status. The bell tower of the church of San Bernardino di Siena collapsed as well as Porta Napoli, a gate built in 1548 in honour of the Emperor Charles V, was reduced to rubble. Some few building, however, survived such as the church of San Liberatore a Maiella, which was rebuilt in the 11th century after an earthquake in 990. Outside L’Aquila, the 14th-century Tower of Medici and the altar of the church of Sant’Angelo collapsed, the ceiling of the church of Poggio Cono felled down and the facade of the church of Sant'Agostino was damaged. In Rome minor damages were also reported, such as cracks in the 3rd century thermal baths built by the Emperor Caracalla. On a more positive note, the earthquake made possible an archaeological discovery, according Italian daily La Stampa. 15,000 year-old prehistoric dwellings up to five meters high were unearthed in L’Aquila. Local experts are exploring the caves which are considered to have been shelters used by the first shepherds to inhabit the area. A Vatican official, Francesco Buranella, issued an appeal to international conservation-restorae_conser vation

Church of Santa Maria in Paganica, near L'Aquila, after the earthquake. Photo by pablo72, April 11, 2009. Some rights reserved.

tion institutions to adopt damaged objects and to perform the necessary interventions. 30 million euros were requested for the emergency works required in the main historical buildings. The Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has promised access to a special fund. However, the total cost of the conservation-restoration operations was estimated in 100 million euros. The reconstruction of the city may cost as much as 12 billion euros. Meanwhile, the Italian government allocated 5 million euros to help rebuild museums damaged by the earthquake. There is hope to recover one day some of these valuable historic monuments from their loss and with them, the identity of Abruzzo region and of its inhabitants will hopefully be recovered.


The News section is publishing diverse information on cultural heritage topics, such as on-site conservation projects reports, conferences, lectures, talks or workshops reviews, but also course reviews and any other kind of appropriate announcements. If you are involved in interesting projects and you want to share your experience with everybody else, please send us your news or announcements. For more details, such as deadlines and publication guidelines, please visit www.e-conservationline.com

The historic centre of the millenary city of Kashgar is in danger of disappearing. Kashgar is regarded as the most important trade centre in the Silk Road, an extensive network of commercial routes that have connected Asia, Europe and Africa for over 2000 years. Kashgar is home of the Uighur people and is located in the southwest of Xinjiang, China, near the border with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is a 2100 years old city where most of the buildings are historic monuments. The preservation of the city of Kashgar is very important - without it the Silk Road couldn’t be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, nowadays the city is facing problems related to the real estate, the increase of tourism and lack of proper preservation policies. The government was planning a renovation of the city but the plans were not known until the beginning of this year. In February, the local government started a program called “Old Town Reconstruction Project for Old and Dangerous Houses” focusing on the houses of nearly 50,000 families. Local authorities have been requesting the cooperation of every citizen. According to

Id Khar Mosque at Kashgar. Photo by Colegota, October 2005. Some rights reserved.


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the plan, 65,000 houses were at risk, in need of renovation or reconstruction. However, the project seems to plan the demolition of the old houses and the construction of high apartment buildings. Plus, the government has started to relocate many of the Uighur people to settlements out of the city. The future of Kashgar seems to be undermined, either on its social or cultural dimensions, and this significant city may be lost forever if proper urban plans in respect to the historic heritage are not made in time. For details on the impact this is having on the city, please see http://en.bjchp.org/english/ thefutureofkashgar.pdf.

e_conservation magazine is open to articles submission on a wide range of relevant topics for the cultural heritage sector. Next deadlines for article submission are: for Issue 11, August 2009 – submissions due 1st July 2009 for Issue 12, October 2009 – submissions due 1st September 2009 Nevertheless, you can always submit your manuscript when it is ready. Between the receival of the manuscript until the final publication may pass up to 3 months according with: - the number of the manuscripts on hold, submitted earlier by other authors - the release date of the upcoming issue - the pre-allocated space in the magazine to each section Please check our publication guidelines for more information.

Open Source Software for Conservation Documentation
A new project that has the purpose of building an open source application for documentation in conservation is being started. The project is supported by the Mellon Program in Research in Information Technology (RIT) and in its initial phase, it is focused on the community design of the software. This year the project will gather input from conservators and conservation scientists concerning their requirements, in order to establish an “application that would support and help to manage their work, its documentation, and related scientific data”. Two community design meeting took place in March (New York) and April (London) and the narrative summaries of the discussions as well as a final document with the results will be available for the public by the end of the year on the project’s blog. For more information and updates please visit http://www.conservationspace.org
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The events in this section are linked to the original homepage of the organisers or to the calendar of events at www.conservationevents.com. Click on "Read more..." to find out more details about each event.

Never Superficial! Challenges in Conserving Murals/ Architectural Surfaces
Date: 15 May Place: Hildesheim, Germany On the occasion of Prof. Dr. Ivo Hammer's retirement, the Hornemann Institute is holding a colloquium on challenges in conserving murals and architectural surfaces. Renowned Specialists will speak: Prof. Dr. Mauro Matteini, Prof. Dr. Thomas Danzl, Markus Eiden, Prof. Dr. Ivo Hammer, Dr. des. Stefanie Lindemeier, Prof. Jurgen Pursche, Prof. Dr. Nicole Riedl, Elodie Rossel. Read more...

The atelier practice of Vincent van Gogh in its historic context May 2009
Date: 14-15 May Read more... Place: Amsterdam, The Netherlands The subjects would cover the study of the painting techniques, the materials used (changes and current behaviour), characterization techniques applied to these studies, relevant conservation related conclusions (preventive conservation, cleaning, treatments, etc.) and importance of this work in the context of his time (artistic currents at the time, historic documentary sources).

Facing the Challenges of Panel Paintings Conservation: Trends, Treatments and Training
Date: 17, 18 May Place: Los Angeles, California, US This symposium will highlight recent developments in panel paintings research and conservation strategies, ranging from specific treatment projects to related exhibition issues. The symposium will also include discussion of education and training needs. Symposium speakers and contributors have been invited from around the world and include specialists in the structural treatment of panel paintings, as well as curators, scientists and conservation specialists in related fields. Read more...

Living in the Past: Histories, Heritage and the Interior
The 6th Modern Interiors Research Centre Conference, Kingston University Date: 14-15 May Place: Kingston, UK The annual conference of the Modern Interiors Research Centre has established itself as a leading forum for international interdisciplinary debate on the history and theory of the modern interior. In 2009 the Conference will bring together art, architectural and design historians, practitioners and curators, to examine and debate the theme of the interior as a marker of history. Read more...

Conservation 2.0-New Directions
AIC Annual Meeting
Date: 19-22 May Place: Los Angeles, US The 2009 AIC Annual Meeting theme is Conservation 2.0New Directions. This program will highlight the ways in which emerging technologies will affect the conservation field. Six workshops will take place during the conference. Read more...

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Preserving the Evidence of Industrial Society May 2009
NKF-Congress 2009
Date: 24-27 May Place: Copenhagen, Denmark The theme of this conference is the special issues arising from the conservation of industrial cultural heritage, industrial materials, products and production equipment. As an illustration, the large number of objects, their dimensions, function and material complexity often present a challenge to a traditional conservation strategy. Read more...

Mecenas e Patrons. A encomenda artística e a Igreja em Portugal
III Ciclo de Conferências para o Estudo dos Bens Culturais da Igreja
Date: 28-30 May Place: Lisbon, Portugal Tendo como objectivo primeiro abordar a relação que se estabelece entre a encomenda de obras de arte e a Igreja em Portugal, a iniciativa visa, em particular, promover o debate em torno da actividade mecenática desempenhada por figuras da Igreja, membros de ordens religiosas e eclesiásticos de um modo geral. A conferência estará centrada nos tópicos: - Mecenato e patronato artístico - Encomenda e aquisição de obras de arte Read more...

Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections
Date: 27-29 May Place: San Diego, California, US This popular three-day conference presents the essentials of digitization for those who wish to expand their digital knowledge. From file formats to funding, from metadata to rights management, learn how to create and manage sustainable digital collections. Topics include collaboration, planning a digital project, selection for digitization, scanning basics, image capture, metadata, sustainability and digital preservation, outsourcing and vendor relations, essentials of delivery systems, copyright and rights management, and funding strategies. Read more...

- Sensibilidade estética e litúrgica

Forum for the Conservation and Restoration of Stained-Glass Windows
Date: 01-03 June Place: New York, USA The theme of the Forum will be "The Art of Collaboration: Stained Glass Conservation in the Twenty-First Century". The three day Forum will consist of two full days of oral presentations and poster sessions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world's largest and finest art museums. The conference is open to all interested stained glass professionals, including conservators, conservation scientists, architects, cultural heritage managers, art historians, students, etc. The venue is intended to provide an unprecedented opportunity for experts from Europe and The United States to meet and share their expertise and experience. The Forum is being held under the auspices of the American Corpus Vitrearum and the International Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum for the Conservation of Stained Glass. Read more...

Icon Ceramics and Glass Group Annual Group Meeting
Date: 28 May Place: London, UK The main theme of this year's conference focuses on the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese Ceramics. This outstanding collection of one thousand seven hundred ceramics, ranging in date from the 3rd-20th century, is considered the most important collection of Chinese ceramics outside mainland China and Taiwan. Read more...


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June 2009


Artists’ Writings 1750 - Present June 2009
Date: 05-06 June Place: London, UK Despite Matisse’s warning that ‘he who wants to dedicate himself to painting should start by cutting out his tongue’, artists in the modern period have frequently expressed themselves in writing (whether memoir, fiction or theory). This conference will ask what motivates artists to write, how they view the relation between their visual and textual practice, and how they use writing to manipulate or challenge the public reception and critical interpretation of their work. Read more...

Art today – Cultural property of tomorrow. The conservation and restoration of contemporary artwork
Date: 24-26 June Place: Paris, France Contemporary artworks present specific characters and cannot be treated as “classical” artworks: aim, frequently different, materials used, closely tuned with their time, the use of special techniques or aertefacts (video imaging, electric circuits, radio, electronics, etc.), links within great number of such artwork and contemporary society, finally in many occurrences the fact that the artist would be still alive – and then would be able to give his opinion or to play a part in an eventual restoration – all these elements are setting up a whole combination of very particular conditions and obligations that, as far as we could see, widely justify the organization of an international congress on this topic. Read more...

Researching Ivory
Integrating Scientific Analyses, Historical Data, Artefact Studies and Conservation Needs
Date: 09 June Place: London, UK This workshop presents an opportunity to influence the future directions of ivory research and the development of protocols for best practice for sampling, analysis and conservation of this finite resource. It will appeal to individuals who are involved in the exhibition, curation, conservation and the monitoring and control of the illegal contemporary trade in ivory products, among others. Read more...

Museums and Capital Development: project planning and delivery
Continuous improvement through sharing knowledge and learning from the past
Date: 29 June - 2 July Place: Leicester, UK Museums and Capital Projects is a Masterclass for museum professionals involved in commissioning and managing capital development projects. This three day event will provide an introduction to project delivery by exploring and offering insight on different client perspectives and project issues. The workshop will also provide a sustained and intensive opportunity to share individual capital project issues with colleagues and receive feedback. The class prioritises a collaborative process and is open to museum professionals involved in any capacity in a capital project. The Museums and Capital Projects Masterclass is one in a series of events that have been developed by the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester since 2003. Read more...

Historic Houses as Documents of Social Life and Traditional Skills
DEMHIST - International Committee for Historic House Museums
Date: 19-24 June Place: Stavanger and Sand, Norway The event is focused upon the conservation and management of house museums, Norway having a long tradition of preserving historic buildings in open-air museums, but also as independent houses on their original sites. Read more...

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by Lia Bassa
Foundation For Information Society


There is a complex branch of economic life: tourism. It includes and makes use of many branches of economic and cultural life as well as it contributes to international relations. Therefore, it is very difficult to define its place in the structure of the management of a country: it is sometimes attached to foreign or inner affairs, to the highest political leading section or subordinated to economic or cultural ministries. We have tried to set up a connection between touristic market development through IT tools to heritage management that partly belongs to conservation processes and partly to pure economy. In the course of our research we could identify an area to be examined that concentrates all the problems and questions raised in this subject - rural heritage houses. Their exploration exists all over the world. Either by the presentation of individual houses or by the presentation of the customs, architecture and way of living of a community, i.e. by the so-called “skanzens”. The first open air folklore museum of the world, the Skansen in Stockholm was opened in 1891. Numerous countries followed this example in the middle of the 20th century. We have visited some of these houses from the Baltic states to India and found that there is a vast interest in these buildings, tools and ancient vocations. The original houses are very special points of interest, scattered all around in each country. In Hungary there are approximately 300 rural heritage houses representing folk heritage. If a country, farm or village house is operating as a museum where the tools of past industries are collected and presented, or where the rooms are furnished according to their old function for tourists to visit them, it can apply for an official qualification of "Rural Heritage House". Sometimes the tools are shown in their past functions
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Figure 1. Csesztreg (South West Hungary).

displaying the origins of the industry or agriculture of former periods. Additionally, each nation has its own folklore including textual, poetic, musical and dancing traditions. The value of these houses can be best introduced by information and knowledge management techniques and many areas can make profit out of these achievements, even if the target of the examination is "nothing else" but buildings representing the past of their inhabitants. The objective of our "Rural Heritage" program has been to draw the attention of visitors arriving from any country, from any social layer to make acquaintance with the rural life in its original surroundings. For people arriving from various backgrounds, to get to know how other types of people live can be a useful experience. Moreover, this type of touristic visit can be profitable for both sides: it produces financial and cultural benefits for the participants as well as for the servicing areas like hotels, restaurants, roads, shops etc. Cultural heritage, either tangible or intangible, must be considered as integral part of the economic life. It means that the investments in this cultural sector are elemental parts of the value chains that absolutely require an information system as


their background. Consequently, the settlements possessing cultural values have a definite role in the appropriate establishment of the value chains. By increasing the local awareness in heritage elements, we assist the inhabitants to establish their identity and economic life, we help them understand why it is important to preserve and transmit heritage to future generations and also how it can be profitable for the present community. Heritage is our common treasure but without adequate information provision and management, it cannot draw attention on its importance and cannot be shared. The indispensable organisation, technical elaboration and implementation need a special level of knowledge, tools and practice. One complete digital presentation pilot has already been prepared out of the network of nearly 300 buildings registered on the Tentative List of Hungarian World Heritage sites. It includes all information about the access, environment, history, inner and outer structure of the houses as well as the description and presentation of the objects within the houses, also covering the intangible heritage relationship (environment, folk art, music etc). The information package received can be made available and used by the local authorities and site managers as well as for touristic purposes. Moreover, any special, local request of features can be added to satisfy their needs and assist their work. Data are recorded corresponding to the national conservational, museological and ethnological rules and standards. The houses in Hungary can be qualified as rural farmhouses and thus appear on the official list. Unfortunately, many of them do not comply with the conditions, as the requirements are too expensive to be implemented by a small settlement. The current situation is that there are about three times more farmhouses, local collections and no doubt intangible heritage to be protected than those listed. Our research team has visited most

Figure 2. Táp (Western Hungary).

of them and tried to record the existing houses that could be potential receivers of visitors. The Hungarian Open Air Folklore Museum has granted a funding for some selected houses to digitise their collections. It is very important because these houses lack financial resources to protect their heritage in an appropriate way. They generally have a local caretaker who is fervently committed and possesses many objects, pictures, written documents or recipes of traditional dishes. Caretakers are generally members of a local dance or music group or just the organisers of local events, and are grateful if someone shows interest in their customs. In the course of the processing, various sorts of data collection, registration, archiving and retrieval methods have been applied. Any heritage site management project attempts to: - Detect and document unauthorised changes; - Partially automate these processes;
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Figure 4. Bottle opener from the last century (Hidas).

Figure 3. Ceramic bottle to keep the liquid cool (Hidas).

the analyses of the relations and the grouping of the objects or object attributes. The establishment of a complete heritage network will enable us to understand and eventually reengineer the nature of heritage preservation irrespectively from the fact whether it is a built heritage, a natural creation, an artefact or any living being. As in Hungary the professional training is at a high level, the number of experts to be employed is

- Adapt business Facility Management (FM) methodologies to heritage site management; - Integrate FM IT technology into the preservation process; - Develop a decision support system model. The recording, description and maintenance of values are milestones to a permanent work that is time and money consuming but a returning investment to be implemented only by the cooperation of numerous experts and organisations. We could only start the process. The most recent rapid development of network analyses prove that description, investigation and thus management of heritage objects can be carried out very efficiently by exploring all of their attributes and connections. The relations can be set up based on the collection of all sorts of qualities and functions of the objects. Thus, the network can provide us with a good tool for
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Figure 5. Vase from the last century (Hidas).



sufficient, the crucial problem for heritage protection being the lack of resources of owners (cultural organizations, private persons, local governments). The solution applied in most cases for the establishment of maintenance, renovation, development, even archiving is to submit various applications to EU and other funding organizations. The database created by our work can establish a good base for these claims. It can be used not only for the writers of the bid but it can give a full picture to the evaluators to enable them to a sound judgement. In the course of the evaluation process, it becomes clear what is mostly needed and where, for the correct operation of the heritage site and in the same time, it reveals clearly how the investment can be turned profitable and what are the means to obtain the most out of it. The access to the database enables managers, authorities and owners to set up statistics concerning the collection. Other visitor statistical figures can also be applied for decisions concerning infrastructural investments. For instance, it is proved that when selecting a hotel via internet, the amount and quality of information about the surrounding points of interest can have a very powerful impact on the choice of the tourist. In the long run (after three years), the data pro-

cessing is able to produce internal relations and also enables researchers and experts to draw relevant conclusions regarding protection and utilization. For this work stage another branch of informatics can be involved: data mining. This method is necessary because the increase of the amount of records impedes the access and retrieval of data and these collections are hard if not impossible to be handled by traditional tools. The special methodologies and processes established aim at a sort of "informational treasure hunting". The hidden point, correlations or regularities of the databases can be disclosed by this method. Data mining can contribute to the application of the collected and systematically arranged data into three directions. Firstly, it helps touristic experts to find out the establishment of targeted developments by exposing precise and detailed data of collections. Secondly, it assists caretakers to be prepared for the expected types and periods of visits by the identification of exact visitor requirements. Thirdly, the decision makers, professional bodies and authorities possess a full set of data, nevertheless they can make a selection of the relevant ones for their own purposes. In consequence of these achievements both the invested work and publicity fees can be decreased producing thus more revenue for preservation of values, maintenance, research and renewal. Therefore, the awareness and interest in the site can grow, effecting an increase in the number of visitors and generating more income that can be invested in further development. The purpose of our research is to document the methods of this data recording process, to enable all the users for applying the database with ease. Besides, it can also be qualified as a conservation job by providing assistance for the scientific
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Figure 6. Hidas (Central Hungary).



Figure 7. The inside of a farmhouse (Western Hungary).

records and access for market values. In the course of our work, it has become clear by now what we would like to disseminate to everybody interested in preservation. The continuity of history must be safeguarded. We can not allow civilisations or their constructions, physical or spiritual testimonies to disappear anymore because it can also have a strong influence on the economic and financial position of a given area. People educated and living among such circumstances should be aware of their shared legacy of the common heritage. In order to enable them to keep and convey it, their identity has to be defined and preserved deliberately by setting up systematic and comprehensive educational projects. Their contribution to community building and knowledge transfer can and has to be successfully implemented.
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Heritage is a value and in the 21st century its objective is not only the protection of the environment and human creations but the validation of these universal values. The world heritage principles can orient future generations to enable them to separate good from bad, right from wrong, true from false, genuine from fake. Our intention has been to present a description of the network of the Hungarian rural farm houses, of a network system of cultural heritage as well as the establishment of a special information management system of their data complying with the Operational Guidelines of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. In addition to the implementation, the following supplementary results are expected to be obtained


and used in the future: - The authenticity of the registration list to increase; - The improvement of the preservation level; - The promotion of site popularity; - The establishment of direct connection with touristically important sites; - The development of the capabilities of reception of sites; - Mobilisation of the attention of inhabitants (especially that of the youth) for the importance of traditions; - Promotion of interest for folkloric arts. Research has proved that the tasks of such locations have never been dealt with before from this overall aspect and it has never been put into practice in Hungary. The work of several different

institutional communities have to be harmonized which can be implemented by the use of our database and information management system. On the one hand, attention must be drawn on the fact that although heritage conservation processes are cost consuming, their result can be turned back into new economic investments that, at the end of the development, produce profit. On the other hand, this research for recording and processing tangible and intangible data not only for heritage preservation purposes but also for the benefit of economy, culture and education, can set an example for other organisations or countries to treat heritage as part of the overall life of a nation.

Figure 8. The “clean room”(living room) of a farm house (Eastern Hungary).


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For closing, see here below a collection of selected bibliography concerning the relation between heritage, documentation and information management. It also shows that these relations are not invented today, nevertheless the closer connection of these branches of science are still not widely used. The reason for it can be many folded. On the one hand – and this might be the main reason, especially in Central Europe – there is a huge, unfortunately increasing lack of financial resources. On the other hand, this might be the slowly decreasing side – the separation of professions, meaning that everyone is an expert only in one subject and does not regard his own area through the eyes of another related field, in spite of the fact that the border territories provide the most exciting spheres for research work.
Architectural Heritage: Inventory and Documentation Methods in Europe, Proceedings of a European colloquy organized by the Council of Europe and the French Ministry for Education and Culture Direction du Patrimoine, Nantes, October 28-31, 1992, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 1993 P. Askerud and E. Clément, Preventing the Illicit Traffic in Cultural Property: A Resource Handbook for the Implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, UNESCO, Paris, 1997 J. Bold, “Patrimoine Architectural: Cooperation de Centres de Documentation”, in Villes, Architectures, Metiers: Banques de Données des Savoir-Faire, Atelier du Patrimoine, Marseille, 1990,4-7 J. Bold, “Technical Assistance for a Computerised Heritage Documentation Centre in Malta”, Architectural Heritage No. 23, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 1992 R.G. Chenhall and P. Homulos, “Museum Data Standards”, Museum, Vol. 314, 1978, 205-212 Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage of Europe (revised), Valletta, 16.I.1992, Council of Europe Treaties ETS No. 143 Core Data Index to Historic Buildings and Monuments of the Architectural Heritage, Recommendation R (95) 3 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states on co-ordinating documentation methods and systems related to historic buildings and monuments of the architectural heritage, Council of Europe, Strasbourg, 1995
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Figure 9. Sledge from the early 20th century.

Council of Europe, Cultural Heritage Division, CC-PAT (93) 131, 2. (Report on Prague meeting on threats to the movable heritage in central and eastern Europe) Getty Art History Information Program and International Council of Museums International Documentation Committee, Developments in International Museum and Cultural Heritage Information Standards, Getty Art History Information Program, Santa Monica, 1993 A. Grant, Spectrum: The U.K. Museum Documentation Standard, Museum Documentation Association, Cambridge, 1994 Handbook of Standards, Documenting African Collections, International Council of Museums, Paris, 1996 R. Harrison (ed.), Manual of Heritage Management, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994 S. Holm, Facts and Artifacts: How to Document a Museum Collection, Museum Documentation Association, Cambridge, 1991 Humanities Data Dictionary of the Canadian Heritage Information Network, Canadian Heritage Information Network, Ottawa, 1993 International Guidelines for Museum Object Information: The CIDOC Information Categories, International Council of Museums, Paris, 1995 N. Lang and S.D. Stead, “Sites and Monuments Records in England - Theory and Practice“, Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, BAR International Series, 1992, 69-76 C.U. Larsen (ed.), Sites and Monuments. National Archaeological Records, The National Museum of Denmark (DKC), Copenhagen, 1992



Minimum Categories for Museum Objects: Proposed Guidelines for an International Standard, International Council of Museums, Paris, 1994 Protecting Cultural Objects in the Global Information Society (video), Getty Information Institute, Santa Monica, 1996 D.A. Roberts (ed.), European Museum Documentation Strategies and Standards, The Museum Documentation Association, Cambridge, 1993 S. Ross, J. Moffet and J. Henderson (eds.), Computing for Archaeologists, Oxford University Committee for Archaeology, Monograph 18, 1991 Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and English Heritage, Thesaurus of Monument Types: A Standard for Use in Archaeological and Architectural Records, RCHME, Swindon, 1995 Specification for Representation of Dates and Times in Information Interchange, (ISO 8601: 198S/ ES EN 28601: 1992), International Organisation for Standardisation, Geneva, 1988 R. Thornes, Protecting Cultural Objects through International Documentation Standards: A Preliminary Survey, Getty Art History Information Program, Santa Monica, 1995 R. Thornes, Protecting Cultural Objects in the Global Information Society: The Making of Object ID, Getty Information Institute, Santa Monica, 1997

Contact: bassa.lia@infota.org Dr. Lia Bassa is a researcher at Infota Research Institute. She is an Expert in Heritage Preservation and Touristic Relations and the Managing Director of the Foundation for Information Society. She holds a MA in English and French literature and linguistics as well as a Ph.D in English literature. She is the author and co-author of numerous articles and lectures on World Heritage management and heritage preservation and conservation.


Contact Address: Táborhegyi út 18/d. 1037 Budapest Mail: 1507 Budapest, PO Box 213 Phone: (36-1-) 279 1510 Fax: (36-1-) 279-1511 E-mail: info@infota.org Website: http://www.infota.org


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Montmaurin, the Venus of Arles and Mozart for Eternity
By Pierre-François Puech and Bernard Puech


The exhibit of objects in museums opens by its very presence a reflection on conservation. Always present there, these objects have the vocation of describing the world, as most of them are often deemed worthy of representing a generalization. Should we consider, like Nathalie Sarraute (1900-1999) wrote in “Do You Hear Them?” [1] that the gaze of the devotees gives a patina to the objects and that the care of generations of conservators simply guarantees their survival? The conservator safeguards, maintains and ensures. The profession combines technical, scientific and artistic responsibilities to ensure the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage for future generations. Responsible for classifying and presenting to the public what is considered important for future generations, the conservator is also a curateur (from the Latin curare = to cure). Thus, (s)he should eventually restore in order to save what is vulnerable. The methodology remains deliberately indistinct so that it can be adapted to each object and developed. From the viewer’s side, however, conservation is made for all humankind and not only for specialists. Conservation involves several categories but it always concerns the memory in matters of conscience and transmission. Linguists use the memory of words and compare languages. Thus, it is evident that action is often originated by words. For example, in Catalan, the word peug, meaning ‘path’, comes from peu whose Latin root is ped, where peuada = senyal de peu, or footprint. This is what René Puech (1914-1995) expressed by “What was the foot of the walker becomes the path”. Do not let disappear the path that teaches us, so that we can look for what the objects say they are, and not for what they seem to say. It is the spirit that makes the error, so it must relate to the context of a discovery, be it an
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object, an organized set of elements (a structure) or an organic ruin. Recognising the contribution of context. The context is defined as being everything that participates or contributes to the significance and particularity of the natural and cultural heritage. This definition requires the understanding, documentation and interpretation of the entire conservation context. To preserve this context we ought to implement the right tools to ensure a sustainable management. Legislation, regulations and guidelines were developed in support of the professional training, to help manage the way to conserve all the significance of the context. What the objects say they are. The “conservation contract” has as first commandment: Thou shalt not destroy. Those who want to make the object speak should not change it. This was, however, the case of the skull of Mozart in 2008. The municipal institution of Mozarteum, which conserves it in its library, has conducted research that has destroyed two teeth and their alveolars (figure 1). As positive fact, the DNA analysis confirmed the previous anthropologic research that had demonstrated that the skull is male despite the frontal appearance which had once justified the doubts of some [2]. It is now certain that the particularities of the skull, which has a feminine aspect, are indeed distinctive to identify Mozart (figure 2). Taking advantage of this case, we should remember that what is used to conserve paintings and sculptures stored in museums, is desirable also for “world heritage” bones that should be conserved by professionals, aside their museological and scientific interest. The conservation of different objects in the world. The philosopher says that in practice it is


Figure 1. Skull of Mozart before the 2008 analysis. The two premolars and the inscriptions which are part of the skull history are still present. © Puech P.-F./Puech B.

Figure 2. Skull of Mozart. The anatomical particularities, especially the appearance of the front, clearly identify Mozart. © Puech P.-F./Puech B.

the world that determines the object. Thus, the assertion about an object not only differs from one individual to another but also for the individual itself, according to the observation perspectives. In April 2008 in Toulouse, at a meeting of the Association Sociétés Savantes, the question of safeguarding the integrity of the natural and archaeological site of Montmaurin-Lespugue was discussed. With the “Venus of Lespugue”, work of the Gravettian modern man, and the “Montmaurin jaw”, a human remain of outmost significance for the Neanderthal man, the site has provided valuable evidences (figures 3 and 4). However, these discoveries are now seen as poorly understood due to the limited research and analysis techniques
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Figure 3. The Montmaurin jaw. A human remain of outmost significance of the Neanderthal man. © Puech P.-F./Puech B.

at that time, hence the importance of safeguarding the context which should be classified as World Heritage [3]. The key for comprehension. At Arles, on June 6th, 1651 excavators digging a reservoir found the head of a Venus. Fragment by fragment, a Roman theatre was uncovered, which allowed to assume that the statue decorated the wall of the stage, made of a hundred columns (figure 5). In 1683 the city was forced to offer this Venus to Louis XIV. The sculpture, which can now be seen at the Louvre, was restored by François Girardon (16281715) who added arms and placed in its hands an apple and the handle of a mirror (figure 6). It was criticized that the sculptor repolished the statue, thus reducing its forms. Only later, the casting of the original (figure 7), which led to think that Girardon remodelled the whole statue, proved by its cracks that it was also restored due to its degradation during the French Revolution. At the time, the head was not well joint to the body and
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Figure 4. Replica of the Venus of Lespugue. Originally about 25,000 BC, in mammoth ivory, 150 mm. © Puech P.-F./Puech B.



thus, a layer of plaster was applied to cover the entire statue, this being the reason for the socalled altered curves (figure 8). The Venus of Arles, which is a copy of the lost Aphrodite of Cnidus by Praxiteles (a Greek sculptor active in the 4th century BC, whose sculptures are only known through Roman copies), had previously been consolidated by the application of struts on the exterior side of the right hip and on the right shoulder (figure 9). Girardon restored the moulding by removing the one of the hip and turning the one of the shoulder into a ribbon. The Venus of Arles is less voluptuous than the Venus de Milo, which saw the creation of the latter. Its style is more conventional in a way, to emphasize the sight of the face and to be less nude. This classicism, which gives primacy to the Venus of Arles over the Venus of Milo, is equally present in the mouth and the slightly heavy eyelids that resemble the Aphrodite of Cnidus, Praxitelean work without a doubt.

Figure 5. Théatre Antique d'Arles. Columns of the stage wall once adorned by the Venus. © Puech P.-F./Puech B. Figures 6 and 7. Copy of the Venus restored by François Girardon (below, left); Venus of Arles. Original casting (below, right). © Puech P.-F./Puech B.


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In conclusion, we always believe that a museum object is an object that speaks. No, the object was made and we tell about it, with the help of its context, which gives it the right perspective. These things belong to a country of all pasts. To understand them means to preserve them better. This way of continuance gives the impression of an afterlife that leads man to save the deceased objects from disappearing. Isn’t conservation, thus, similar to the Egyptian practice of surrounding the body with objects that had perhaps intended to provide the very keys to the gates of eternity?

1. N. Sarraute, "Do You Hear Them?", George Braziller, 1973, pp. 23 2. T.J. Parson, O. Loreille and B. Smith, "Army helps DNA scientists unravel Mozart mystery", ScienceBlog, 2008 [2003-2009] www.scienceblog.com/cms/army_helps_dna_ scientists_unravel_mozart_mystery_9713 3. Archaeological Society of Southern France, "Records of the Academic Year 2007-2008”, pp.5-12 Figure 8. Venus casting before restoration. Alteration of the surface layer (upper left) and the strut of the right hip and other deteriorations of the plaster (lower left). Figure 9. Venus of Arles. Detail showing the resemblance to the Aphrodite of Cnidus (below). © Puech P.-F./Puech B.

Contact: pfpuech@yahoo.fr H.D.R., Dr. in Dentistry Sciences, Dr. in Geology, IPH, Le Zénith1, 561 ave. Evêché de Maguelone, 34250 Palavas, France

Contact: bpuech@nordnet.fr M.D., Ophthalmology, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille Service d’Exploration de la Vision et Neuro-ophtalmologie. Hôpital Roger Salengro Lille
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By Irene Arroyo


Introduction Cultural Heritage, either movable or immovable, is subject to degradation induced by diverse living organisms. Fungi are among the most active microorganisms in these processes. The nature of the support will determine the type of degradation. The alteration mechanisms are different on organic supports (wood, leather, textiles, etc.) and on inorganic supports (stone, glass, metals, etc.) due to the heterotrophic nutrition of fungi. While fungi can use the organic support itself as nutrients, in the case of inorganic supports these are transformed by several metabolites which are excreted and that may react with the support in different ways. Fungi Biology Fungi are living organisms that constitute an entire kingdom, which shows the great dimension of their diversity. As expected, they have numerous common characteristics, the main one being the heterotrophic nutrition, which means that they need organic matter for their metabolism. Most fungi are saprophytes, thus they decompose the organic matter in order to absorb the substances that are formed by that process. Therefore, the assimilation of nutrients is made by absorption of the necessary substances. Fungi are composed of thallus which may be unicellular or pluricellular. The latter is filamentous, the filaments are called hyphae and may be aseptate or coenocytic (without septa). In addition, fungi are generally composed of a fruiting body where the spores are produced in a great variety of colours, forms and sizes. The cell walls of fungi generally contain chitin besides other components. Their reproduction is sexual or asexual. Beside the presence of organic matter, fungi need for their development suitable parameters of environmental conditions such as humidity and
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temperature. If these conditions are adverse to the fungi needs, they will operate as limiting parameters of their development. Organic Materials The organic materials from which works of art are normally constituted belong to two main groups: cellulosic and proteinaceous. Among the first group are wood, paper and some textiles while the second contains other textiles such as wool and silk, and also leather and parchment. Fungi deteriorate organic material in respect to the aesthetic and degradative aspect although these are not independent as the aesthetic degradation is sometimes due to the external manifestation of the chemical transformation process that the support undergoes. Some other times it is simply a matter of stains or other alterations easy to solve, although this occurs in just a few cases. Cellulosic Supports The action of fungi on cellulosic supports is common for cellulolytic fungi that perform external digestion through cellulase complex enzymes that degrade the cellulose in basic molecules of glucose which are then absorbed by the fungus. However, there are other groups beside the cellulolytic fungi that attack the other components of the support as well. Taking the wood for example, we know that besides cellulose it is constituted by lignin which is far more difficult to digest by the fungus but even then there are several species that can achieve it successfully. Lignin is an amorphous polymer formed by the random combination of various phenols and acids that leads to a three-dimensional structure. The effects of some fungi on cellulose and lignin are known as rot. Three types of rot can be highlighted according to the


residual state of the wood fibre after having been attacked by certain fungi. Brown rot. Also known as prismatic and dry, it occurs when the fungus attacks the cellulose and the short chains of other polysaccharides, leaving traces of lignin. In case the wood loses between 10% and 20% of its weight, it may lose up to 95% of its mechanical resistance which for the wood used in buildings (beams, altarpieces, etc.) may be really dangerous. In the case of movable heritage the immediate consequence could be the loss of the work depending on the degree of degradation. The wood darkens and dries forming a typically cubic craquelure network, both in the longitudinal and transversal fibbers. The fungi that cause this kind of rot are especially the Basidiomycetes such as Serpula lacrymans or Merulius lacrymans. White rot. Also known as corrosive and cavernous, is caused by the fungi that attack both lignin and cellulose through a system of ligninase and cellulase enzymes, leaving behind a white residue and inducing gradually weight loss. They need very high moisture content (30-60%) appearing mostly in the wood near the ground, such as sarcophagus and materials in basements, and near ceilings and walls, such as wood coffered ceilings (artesonados) and altarpieces. The wood might even lose all its resistance, becoming spongy, filamentous or laminated, and usually with a stained and discoloured aspect when compared to healthy wood. This type of rot is especially produced by the species of the genera Pholiota sp., Coriolus versicolor, Fomes sp., etc. Soft rot. In this kind of rot the fungi attack preferentially the cellulose of the secondary wall leaving the wood with a consistency similar to fresh cheese. However, they can also attack the hemicellulose and in a much lower degree the

lignin. This type of rot is especially common in soaked wood, in conditions of high humidity and in wood that is in contact with the ground, in areas of archaeological diggings and in underground, underwater or water-saturated environments. These are Ascomycetes and Deuteromycetes fungi from where the following genera may be highlighted: Chaetomium, Xylaria, Alternaria, Coniothyrium, etc. Most part of the cellular wall is destroyed forming a typical craquelure when the wood is dried after the rotting process. Besides rotting wood, fungi also produce many other alterations that may not have such dangerous consequences but that are equally undesirable when wood is the support of works of art. Among these are the colorformers, fungi that stain the wood either through several pigmentations that they synthesize or by dark colour hyphae. A particular case of these processes is the so called blue-stain of the wood in which the fungus attacks the reserve cells but not the xylem. Thus, the wood resistance is not compromised which is very important for structural wood but not for ornamental wood, once it can undergo loss of pigment or other alterations.

Figure 1, A and B. Different types of wood rot.

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Figure 1 C. Fungi colorformers on wood support.

Figure 2, A and B. Documents on paper support with fungi contamination.

Among the fungi that produce these processes are the species of the genera Chlorociboria, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, Fusarium, Penicillium, Trichoderma and Chaetomium. Continuing with the cellulosic supports, it is important to have in attention the paper, which is part of a variety of movable heritage, such as documents, books, paintings, etc. Old papers are primarily made from cellulose although they can contain other compounds depending on the manufacturing process. It is not out of the ordinary for paper to contain certain quantities of lignin, hemicellulose, pectin, dyes, proteins, etc. The fungi that affect paper may be cellulolytic, degrading thus the cellulose, or non-cellulolytic, degrading any of the other compounds. Some cellulosic and proteinic alterations can affect the mechanical resistance and the weight of the paper, while others affect the aesthetics of the work by
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pigmentation or discolouration as a consequence of both endo- and exopigments produced by fungi. All these processes, of course, are conditioned by the quantity of moisture that the support contains and the environmental conditions. Among the cellulolytic fungi some species of the genera Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp., Humicola, Myrothecium, Penicillium spp., Stachybotrys, etc. may be found and among the noncellulolytic, several species of Chaetomium. These fungi have been frequently found in books, documents and prints. There are two very frequent alterations of paper: foxing and moisture-induced consolidation of paper. In both cases, fungi are among the main causes of these alterations along with other microorganisms. Textiles of vegetable origin, including cotton, linen, jute and sisal (hemp) are subject to a particular case of fungi action on cellulosic supports. These


The most common protein supports are parchment and leather. The most frequent alterations produced by fungi in these materials are granulations, stains, loss of elasticity and stiffness. Parchment has its origin in the city of Pergamon from where its name derives. It was made from non-tanned skins of lamb, goat, pig and donkey. A particular case was the vellum, made from lamb and calf embryos. Parchment is composed mainly of collagen but also has other substances such as keratin and elastin, and smaller amounts of albumin and globulin. Fungi can cause proteolysis of collagen, but there are a number of factors that facilitate the process, such as the storage environmental conditions and some substances that reside in the original skin (other proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, mineral constituents and impurities) which can also be used by the fungi metabolism and facilitate their colonization. Among the types of fungi found in ancient scrolls are Cladosporium, Fusarium, Ophiostoma, Scopulariopsis, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Trichoderma, etc. Chemically the leather is very similar to parchment but it undergoes a skin tanning process. Its susceptibility to biodeterioration by fungi is also similar but varies according to the different tanning process and the type of dyes used, such as animal, vegetable, chrome tanning, etc.
Figure 4 A. Degradation of protein support (parchment) by the action of fungal mycelia.

Figure 3. Textile degraded by fungi action.

are composed of cellulose derivatives: linen of flax phloem fibbers, sisal of leave fibbers and cotton of seeds. Among the most frequent alterations produced by fungi on textiles are stains, discolouration and resistance loss. Susceptibility to fungi attack depends on both the cellulose content and on other non-cellulosic compounds. For example, the presence of lignin decreases the susceptibility of attack while pectin and pentose increase it. Cotton contains a 5% of non-cellulosic compounds and linen 15%. Textiles with high content of lignin are more resilient to microbial attack than those that contain less lignin. Protein Materials Protein and cellulosic materials undergo a similar degradation process, except for those that are specific to each of the support compounds. Fungi degrade proteins. Proteins are polymers composed of polypeptides, which are made of amino acids. For the decomposition of these, living organisms use two types of enzymes, peptidases and proteinases. The function of these proteolytic enzymes is to separate the proteins in peptides and then into amino acids for an easier use by the fungal cells.

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The latter has a fungistatic capacity which serves as protection to microbiologic attack. Sometimes, however, some species of the genera Penicillium and Paelomyces, which are tolerant to chromium-based dyes, have developed on tanned leather. In this case, the proteins are not directly affected by the fungi but the leather is attacked by the organic acids they produce. Besides the mentioned protein supports we should not forget other important and extensively used supports in cultural heritage that are textiles, in particular wool and silk used in clothing, flags, banners, etc. The fibres of these are composed of fibrous protein structure which confers them a high resistance to microbial attack. Under certain conditions, however, there are a number of bacteria and fungi capable of degrading them. Among the fungi, representatives of the genera Fusarium, Aspergillus and Trichoderma stand out. Inorganic Materials The biodeterioration of inorganic supports is radically different because as fungi are heterotrophic organisms they do not use the supports for nutrition but they do alter them deeply with synthesis products from their own metabolism, such as inorganic and organic acids. The latter can produce chelation and form complexes with metallic cations, which are obtained from the support. In the case of stone monuments, the development of fungal colonies appears over layers of organic matter of different origins. Species of fungi of different genera such as Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus niger, Stachybotrys spp. and Alternaria have been found on these supports. Many of these fungi are responsible, along with other chemical and biological factors, for the formation of black crusts due to the melanin in their hyphae. The hyphae of the fungus can penetrate
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Figure 4 B. Leather object with fungi at the surface.

Figure 5. Limestone from Santa Maria de Huesca (Spain), showing "pitting" produced by fungi.

the limestone calcite crystals previously dissolved by enzymes. Some fungi are called endolithic because they penetrate into the substrate causing "pitting", a surface that appears to have many small holes. This alteration has been found on monuments such as the gate of the Cathedral of Huesca in Spain, shown in Figure 5. Due to the presence of organic acids produced and excreted by the fungi, the stone support suffers a decrease of pH. Acids may produce chelation, among which the oxalic acid that induces a large corrosion of primary minerals and the complete decomposition of iron-based components of clay. Organic acids also destroy the feldspar in granites and participate in the sandstone weathering.





Figure 6. Isolated fungi from different stone supports. A. Lions from the Alhambra Fountain, Granada (Spain). B and C. Sculptures from the facade of the Prado Museum, Madrid (Spain).

Control and eradication of biodeterioration produced by fungi in cultural heritage Once we understand the way fungi act in the biodeterioration of works of art, it is very important to know which methods of control and eradication are available for treatment. Of course, the intervention will be different for movable or immovable heritage and will depend on the organic or inorganic nature of the support.

The first phase is the identification of the attack, which means we must confirm that there is truly a fungal attack. To this end, a sample should be taken in order to identify the species or the cause of the problem. By knowing which species we deal with, we know which damage can occur, according to its metabolic needs - if there is a species that causes an aesthetic damage or one inducing chemical degradation of the support, for example.
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The identification of fungal species may be performed in 2 ways: by traditional identification methods, using optical and scanning electron microscopy or by modern techniques of DNA identification using PCR and sequencing. In the first case the samples obtained directly from the object are grown in a culture media suitable for fungi. Later, using the techniques of cellular biology that include specific staining and microscopic observation, determinant characteristics such as shape and size of the spores’ fruiting bodies are detected. Subsequently, the classification is made with aid of dichotomous classification tables to obtain the identification of the species involved. In immovable works, through the cultivation methods calculations can be done to find out, for example, not only which pollutants but also how many contaminants are in the environmental samples, which is clearly very useful to estimate the contamination degree. Nowadays, the new molecular biology techniques are gradually adapting to the study of the biodeterioration of cultural heritage, such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Using this technique, a complex mixture of DNA can be taken to localize a single gene (rRNA 18S in fungi), to multiply it and to obtain a pure solution for study. Potential applications of PCR are virtually limitless. Roughly the protocol that is followed is: 1. Culture or environmental sampling; 2. The environmental samples are subject to freezethaw cycles (-20º C, +60º C) for DNA extraction. Once the DNA is obtained, a first PCR is performed for amplification if possible, using a series of reagents to determine the initial concentrations.
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Protocols are already established for other areas in biology. The DNA amplification is achieved by using a temperature ramp. 3. The results of the first PCR are then subjected to a first DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and the results are checked with agarose gel. 4. The product of the first PCR is used as DNA template for making a second PCR whose results are subject to an environmental DGGE. 5. The results are checked with agarose gel and DNA is extracted from the bands in order to proceed with their sequencing. Sometimes a third PCR is required. The sequences obtained are compared with the NCBI database and only those sequences above 95% are considered. The process for the culture samples is shorter once we already started from isolated microorganism unlike with environmental samples where different DNA is mixed. Thus, in the second case a single PCR and a single DGEE may be enough. Despite the work load and high cost of this technique, it presents a series of advantages with respect to the traditional analysis, namely the accuracy in the species identification, the smaller quantity of the sample required for the identification, which is truly important in cultural heritage, and the retrieval of more real contaminant data. However, the efforts and the expenses should be taken into consideration, depending on the seriousness of the contamination, the extension of the problem and the nature of the support. In inorganic supports of immovable heritage these techniques are being increasingly used, not only for fungi but especially for bacteria. In works on wooden support which are placed in47


side museums and in controlled environmental conditions, where contaminants are known because they are more specific, conventional analysis methods are generally used. Once the fungus or fungi are identified, their removal should be addressed taking into account a series of factors: 1- Works located in a museum, archive, library, etc. 2- Works located in an exterior environment: movable and immovable. To remove the biodeterioration produced by fungi, in the first place we ought to eliminate the conditions that foster their development, such as environmental conditions (humidity and temperature), nutrients, light, etc.

If we take the example of museums, we can consider on one side the museum spaces and on the other the collections. It ought to provide the building with a suitable climate, to eliminate all the humidity sources and to keep it under stable conditions, never below 50% or above 62%. Concerning the temperature, this should never be higher than 20º C. These conditions are ideal for museums, as we already know, but to control the biodeterioration not only the needs of fungi are to be kept in mind. The problem should be tackled by evaluating the overall, including all the contaminants and, of course, the supports, since important variations of the parameters may affect them considerably. Concerning the living organisms, fungi may develop at relatively low temperatures, but although they have an ideal range (25 - 28º C) we all have experienced their development in refrigerators at tempera-

Figure 7. Fungi developing in a basement (winery) where the environmental conditions clearly favor their development.


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tures of 5º C. Instead, they are very demanding with humidity which should be relatively high, although the spores may endure lower humidity levels. Although beneficial for many photosynthetic organisms and microorganisms, too much light is harmful for fungi, which always look for the darkest places. The nutrients in the inorganic supports are more controllable because fungi need organic matter. Thus, it ought to be careful in conservation so that no dust particles could provide organic matter that might be used as nutrients or other microbial contaminants. In case of collections, it is much easier to control the environmental conditions but the nature of the support is determinant because in most cases it is made of mixed materials and if it is organic, it can be a nutrient itself. If a work is contaminated, the best way to proceed is to isolate it from others and to treat it. The treatment will always depend of the extension and severity of the attack and the degree of damage of the support. Sometimes a simple mechanical removal may be effective although in most cases the use of a biocide is necessary. The objects located in the exterior present a completely different problematic for their conservation as it is not possible to control the climatic and environmental conditions. In any case the proliferation of water leaks and the ascension of water by capillarity should be prevented, as this favours not only the development of fungi but also of other microbial contaminants and the development of mosses, lichens and vascular plants. In such cases, the use of a broad-spectrum biocide is necessary in order to remove the contaminants.

Acknowledgments I would like to thank the Laboratory of Biology from the Gabinete de Conservación y Restauración de la Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba, for the use of the photos in Figures 3 and 4B and to Dr. Amelia Fernandez from La Habana for the photo in Figure 2B. The other photos belong to the present author and to Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España (IPCE).

[1] C. Ascaso, “Structural aspects of lichens invading their substrata", in Surface Physiology of Lichens, C. Vicente, D.H. Brown and M.E Legaz (eds.), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 1985, pp. 87-113 [2] R.M. Atlas, N.A. Chowdhury and K.L. Gauri, “Microbial calcification of gypsum-rock and sulfated marble”, Studies in Conservation 33, 1988, pp. 149-153 [3] E. Bryant, Climate process & change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997 [4] G. Caneva, M.P. Nugari and O. Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, 1991 [5] A. Cepero, “Algunas cuestiones relacionadas con la corrosión, el medio ambiente y el deterioro de los bienes culturales", Revista Documentos 2/3, CENCREM, Cuba, 1990 [6] G. Chiari, S. Sampo and G. Torraca, “Formazione di ossalati di calcio su superficie marmoree da parte di funghi”, in G. Alessandrini (ed.), The Oxalate Films: Origin and Significance in the Conservation of Works of Art, CNR Gino Boza, Milan, 1989, pp. 85-90 [7] X. Domenech, Química del suelo. El impacto de los contaminantes, Madrid, 1995 [8] C. Giacobini, C. Andreoli, G. Casadoro, B. Fumanti, P. Lanzara and N. Rascio, “Una Caracteristica Alterazione delle murature e degli intonaci”, in Atti del 3º Congresso Internazionale sul Deterioramento e la Conservacione della Pietra, Venice, Italy, University of Padua, Padua, 1979, pp. 24-27

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[9] A. Martin, Ensayos y Experiencias de Alteración en la Conservación de Obras de Piedra de Interés Histórico Artístico, Fundación Ramón Areces, Madrid, 1990 [10] J.W. Maurits La Riviere, “Los recursos hídricos amenazados”, Investigación y Ciencia, 1991 [11] A. Mentler, H.W. Muller and B. Schwaighofer, “Verwitterung studien an Naturbausteinen in Wiener Stadtgebiet und in Steinbruchendel Leithagebirges in Burgenland”, Mitt. Oster. Geol. Ges. 79, 1986, pp. 309325 [12] M. Monte, C. Sabbioni and G. Tapia, “The origin of calcium oxalates on historical buildings, monuments and natural outcrops”, Science of Total Environment 67, 1987, pp. 17-39 [13] L.H.G. Morton (ed.), Biodeterioration of Constructional Materials, Biodeterioration Society, 1987 [14] G. Muyzer, E.C. Waal and A.G. Uitterlinden, “Profiling of complex microbial populations by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of polymerase chain reaction-amplified genes coding for 16S rRNA”, Applied Environmental Microbiology, 59, 1993, pp. 695-700 [15] R.E. Newell, H.G. Reichle Jr and W. Seiler, “El monóxido de carbono y la Tierra en llamas”, Investigación y Ciencia, 1991 [16] W.A. Nierenberg (ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Biology, Volumes 1-3, Academic Press, San Diego, 1995 [17] K. Petersen, J. Kuroczkin, A.B. Strzelczyk and W.E. Krumbein, “Distribution and effects of fungi on and in sandstones”, Biodeterioration 7, Elsevier Applied Science, London and New York, 1988, pp. 123-128 [18] J.P. Petushkova and N.N. Lyalikova, “Microbiological degradation of lead-containing pigments in mural paintings”, Studies in Conservation 31, 1986, pp. 65-69 [20] J. Pochon and C. Jaton, “Facteurs biologiques de l'altération des pierres”, Biodeterioration of Materials, Elsevier, London, 1968, pp. 358-268 [21] O. Salvadori and L. Lazarini, “Lichens deterioration on stones of Aquileian monuments”, Botanika Chronika, 1989, in press [22] M.I. Sarró, A.M. García, V.M. Rivalta, D.A. Moreno and I. Arroyo, “Biodeterioration of the Lions Fountain at the Alhambra Palace, Granada (Spain)”, Building and Environment 41, 2006, pp. 1811-1820

[23] M.I. Sarró and I. Arroyo, “Microbiología y Biología molecular aplicada al patrimonio en el IPHE”, Bienes Culturales: Revista del Instituto del Patrimonio Histórico Español 8, 2008, pp. 197-210 [24] L. Tronchoni, “Patologías de materiales pétreos”, in Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria de Cultura, Educació i Ciencia, Direcció General de Patrimonio Artísic (ed.), XII Congreso de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales, Valencia, 1998, pp. 341–352

Conservation-scientist Contact: irene.arroyo@mcu.es Irene Arroyo Marcos, PhD, is specialised in Biology and its applications to cultural heritage conservation. She works since 1988 at the Scientific Department of the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain (IPCE), Ministry of Culture. Previously she was lecturer of Biology at the University College Cardenal Cisneros and she worked at the Royal Botanic Garden of CSIC, the High Council of Scientific Research. As part of IPCE she has participated in conservation projects such as the conservation of the Romanic cloister of the cathedral of Pamplona and the conservation of the dome Regina Martyrum of the Basilica of Pilar from Zaragoza, Spain. Aside her research activity, she has taught as invited lecturer in masters and short courses in Spain and abroad.
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from the Slovak National Gallery

by Petra Hoffstädterová Dostálová and Jana Sanyova

case study


The painting was restored between the years 2006 – 2008 in the Restoration ateliers of the Slovak National Gallery (SNG), as its property. Both the author and the concrete theme of the painting are unknown. Probably the painting introduces a mythological scene, which belongs to the symbolist art-deco era. Research such as pigment analysis proved that the painting dates from after 1885. The preserved part of the painting is a proof of a high quality monumental composition which is marked out with outstanding work of colour and light.

Introduction General information Author: unknown Central European (Czech?) painter Artwork: mythological scene Dating: end of 19th century Technique: oil on canvas Size: 173 x 118,5 cm Owner: property of the Slovak National Gallery, inv. no. O 6948 The painting was brought to be restored rolled into a thin roll, the painting facing inside. That is the standard mistake of a layman by manipulation with a painting without stretcher. The technique is oil on canvas and the motif is cut out from a large composition. This is proved by a larger sized triangle shape which is sewn with a sewing machine to the right bottom corner of the painting which was not missing anywhere, but had identical canvas with the ground layer and colour layer from a different area of the painting. The attachment of the oil painting onto the stretcher using nails straight through the painting layer also proved this find. Description of the artwork The support is a very thin linen canvas with canvas weft with density of threads 20 x 20 onto a squared centimetre (figures 2 and 3). On the painting appeared splitting of the colour layer off the ground. Thin,

Figure 1. Mythological scene, unknown Central European (Czech?) painter. Before restoration. © SNG

one-layer white oil ground and the colour layer were mechanically damaged with lengthwise cracks as a consequence of a long-term storage in a rolled state. This resulted also in tearing of the fine and brittle canvas and creation of splits with size of a few centimetres all over its area. Almost all breaks and splits in the canvas were unreasonably painted on the back with white colour, since somebody in the past probably wanted to prevent in this way the canvas from its further tearing. A vertical 25 cm perforation in the canvas after a hit was present in the left top part of the painting.
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Analytical methods The laboratory research of technique and materials was carried out in the IRPA/KIK laboratories at Brussels. For this purpose, the following methods were used: cross section stratigraphy by optical microscopy (Axioplan, Zeiss) with white polarised and UV light illumination (magnifications from 25x up to 1000x); the dyestuffs of organic pigments were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography and a UV/Vis diode array detector (HPLC-DAD, Spectratech, Finnigan). The dyestuffs were extracted from the pigment by mild extraction. The inorganic pigments were analysed on the cross sections by scanning electron microscopy (SEM, Jeol JSM6300 instrument, 15 keV primary energy) coupled to an energy dispersive X-rays detector (EDX, Pentafet Si (Li) X-ray detector, from Oxford Instruments). Optical microscopy The observation of the micro-samples in the cross section by optical microscopy under the normal and UV light allowed the understanding of the function of the layers and also permitted to distinguish the over paintings (figures 6-8). The varnishes and some pigments are strongly fluorescent, so UV light reveals their presence and position. Two varnishes could be observed under UV, one being probably the original (layer 5, figure 8) and the second one over the overpainting (layer 7, figure 8). Pigments and dyestuffs analysis There are tree pigments found in the paint layer an unidentified azo pigment, Cadmium yellow and Cerulean blue, which were not in use before the last quarter of the 19th century. Azo dyes form a large class of synthetic compounds, which are characterised by the presence of one or more azo

Figure 2. Microphotograph of fibre using cross-polarized light (200 x enlargement). © SNG

Figure 3. Microscopy research: A linen canvas (200 x enlargement). © SNG

Study of materials and technique During the visual exam of the artwork by ultraviolet (UV) light (figure 4), retouches and overpaintings with local character from the different time periods were observed under the layer of yellowed varnish (richness of the hue of the overpaintings). Comparing the survey with infrared (IR) reflectography (figure 5) and research of the layering in the colour, two rounded shapes were found on the left top part. The X-ray image was not conclusive due to the materials used in the painting, which did not allow the recognition of the forms. Actually, the ground of the painting, which is applied on the entire surface, contains lead white while the paint layer was made with zinc white.
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Figure 4. Ultraviolet luminescence. © Bedrich Hoffstädter, MFA
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Figure 5. IR reflectography. © Bedrich Hoffstädter, MFA
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Figure 7. Cross section of microsample A, taken from the background, photographed in polarised light at magnification 200x. Stratigraphy description on the next page. © IRPA/KIK

Figure 6. Localisation of the microsamples. © SNG.

linkage groups (-N=N-). Although the azo dyes appeared soon after the discovery of diazotisation reaction by Gries in 1858 and were already in wide use in the 1880's, it was only in 1885 that the first azo pigment was commercialized [Eastaugh et al, 2004, Perego, 2005]. The presence of Cadmium yellow and Cerulean blue (Coelin blue) in this painting support also the hypothesis that it was created at the end of the 19th century. Salter wrote in 1869 that a cobalt blue pigment, under the name Coelin blue was imported to England from Germany since a few years. This cobalt blue with a tin base "contains or is mixed with gypsum, silica, and sometimes magnesia" [Salter, 1869]. Eastaugh et al. notes that the 1860 edition of Gentele's Lehrbuch der Farbenfabrikation does not mention cerulean blue, while the 1880 edition does. Cadmium yellow

Figure 8. The same cross section as in figure 7, photographed under UV light. © IRPA/KIK

was suggested for use as an artists’ pigment by Stromeyer in 1818, but its commercialisation was expanded only after 1840, and its use remained rare until 1870, probably because of its high price (20 times higher than chrome yellow). Cadmium yellow was found for the first time by chemical analysis in a painting of Vincent van Gogh from 1887 [Fiedler and Bayard, 1986]. The other pigments identified in the micro-samples (figures 7-8) such as cochineal red lake, zinc white and chrome yellow were also in large use in paintings during the second half of the 19th century.
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In conclusion, we can state that the analytical study revealed the pigments and the characteristic layer structure of a painting from the end of the 19th century. Stratigraphic description of the microsample (figures 7-8) 7. Varnish and deposits. 6. Over-painting beige layer (the colour of the surface is darker and yellowier). The beige matrix is composed of a mixture of zinc and lead white, although particles of chrome yellow and red pigment, and carbon black pigment can also be found. 5. Varnish layer containing zinc and calcium. 4. Grey white layer composed of 4 – 6 coatings applied “á la prima”, whose borders could not be distinguished. In the white matrix of zinc white, particles of Cerulean blue, cadmium yellow and red, red cochineal lake and azo-pigments, ochre and carbon black pigments can be observed. 3. Grey preparation containing zinc white, chalk, cadmium yellow, carbon black, Cerulean blue and earth pigments. 2. Lead white - oil (?) matrix ground containing particles of barite and gypsum. 1. Sizing.

Figure 9. Probing of removal of overpaint. © SNG.

Restoration process Based on the result of the research technology, the restoration procedure was set. The first step in this process was the stabilisation of the very brittle support of the painting. The reverse was mechanically cleaned from dirt and from the white colour covering the rips and breaks in the canvas. The sewn-on patch on the right bottom corner was removed. Onto the tears in the canvas on the reverse were locally applied sheets of
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Japanese paper in areas already covered with the reversible glue Lascaux 375. The whole reverse side of the canvas was impregnated with the same adhesive. Then the right bottom corner was added with original canvas painted with Lascaux 375 exactly made to measure and it was ironed onto a new canvas treated with gelatine. The lining using heat and vacuum technology was executed in two stages. First lining with the paint layer facing up was applied. In the second stage the missing part of the canvas was added left up with the leftover original canvas treated with Lascaux 375 and the lining was realised with the painting facing down. After the stabilisation of the support and adhesion of the loosened particles of the colour layer, a research of colour layer was done. Most of the over-paintings were applied according with the original author's form. Two sphere-like shapes gradually appeared during the cleaning from under the layer of the over-painting (figure 9). They were visible during the IR reflectography and readable also on the IR photograph.


Figure 10. After filling. © SNG.
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Figure 11. After treatment. © SNG.
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Probing and removal of secondary varnishes, oil over-painting and fillers Over-painting and fillers from the 20th century were removed using combination of mechanical and chemical cleaning, while organic solvents were chosen which did not damage the original painting. Only after complete cleaning of the painting from secondary over-paintings and fillings, the original handwriting of the author became obvious with its very sensitively executed colour shaping in thin, glaze layers. Filling The areas of losses of the ground with the colour layer were based with gelatine and filled with chalk putty (figure 10). Around the inserted patch filler was applied with Lascaux 375. With stretching of the painting onto a new adjustable stretcher its cut offs were adjusted so that its composition was enlarged by the formerly bent edges. For reviving of the colours of the painting the surface was varnished with dammar varnish. Retouching The filled areas were painted first with aquarelle colours and the base for the final retouch was prepared. A mimicking, trattegio style retouch with glaze like colours on a mastic varnish base was chosen (figure 11). Varnish The surface shine of the original and of the retouch was united with a mat varnish in spray. The film from the dammar varnish in the end united and secured the protection of the painting.

Conclusions After the complete restoration it was possible to place the artwork among the exhibits of the 19th century collection in the Slovak National Gallery. The pigment analysis allowed to determine 1885 as the terminus ante quem non, the date before which the canvas could not have been painted. Acknowledgments The authors wish to thank all colleagues restorers, especially Bedrich Hoffstädter, MFA, from the Slovak National Gallery for their useful professional consultations, and Cécile Glaude for her help in laboratory of Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage. A special acknowledgement is due to Barbara and Stevin Davidson for their assistance in the translation of the present text. Bibliography
[1] N. Eastaugh, V. Walsh, T. Chaplin and R. Siddall, The pigment compendium: a dictionary of historical pigments, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004 [2] F. Perego, Dictionnaire des matériaux du peintre, Belin, Paris, 2005 [3] T.W. Salter, Field's Chromatography; or, Treatise on Colours and Pigments as used by Artists, Winsor and Newton, London, 1869, as cited in [1] [4] I. Fiedler and M.A. Bayard, “Cadmium yellows, oranges and reds”, in R.L. Feller (ed.), Artists’ Pigments. A Handbook of their History and Characteristics, Volume 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986, pp. 65-108 [5] J. Sanyova, “Mild extraction of dyes by hydrofluoric acid in routine analysis of historical paint microsamples”, Microchimica Acta 162, 2008, pp. 361–370 [6] J. Sanyova, Carmine, Crimson. Kermes and cochineal lake pigments, Collection of the Lectures of the 7th International Seminar on Restoration, Banská Bystrica 26-28 September (2007), Bratislava, 2008, pp. 8-27 and 167-183


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[7] D. Bomford, Conservation of Paintings, National Gallery Publications, London, 1997 [8] G. Émile-Mâle, The Restorer's Handbook of Easel Paintings, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976 [9] H. Althöfer, Das 19. Jahrhundert und die Restaurierung. Beitrage zur Malerei, Maltechnik und Konservierung, Callwey, München, 1987 [10] J. Koller, Cleaning of a 19th century painting with deoxycholate soap: mechanism and residue studies, Cleaning, Retouching and coatings. Preprints of the contributions to the Brussels Congress, IIC, London, 1990 [11] K. Nicolaus and C. Westphal, The Restoration of Paintings, Könemann, Cologne, 1999 [12] R. Wolbers, Cleaning painted surfaces: aqueous methods, Archetype Publications, London, 2000, pp. 76-80, 116-126, 139-145 [13] Ch. Sitwell and S Staniforth, Studies in the History of Painting Restoration, Archetype Publications, London, 1996 [14] L. Carlyle, “British nineteenth-century oil painting instruction books: a survey of their recommendations for vehicles, varnishes and methods of paint application", in J.S. Mills and P. Smith (ed.), Cleaning, retouching and coatings: Contributions to the 1990 IIC Congress, Brussels (1990), London, 1990 [15] L. E. Richter and H. Härlin, “A nineteenth-century collection of pigments and painting materials”, Studies in Conservation 19, 1974, pp. 76-82 [16] J. D. Carr, T. R. C. Young, A. Phenix and D. R. Hibberd, “Development of a physical Model of a Typical Nineteenth-Century English Canvas Painting”, Studies in Conservation 48, 2003, pp. 145-154 [17] R. Keller, “Lainöl als Malmittel, Rekonstruktionsversuche nach Rezepten aus dem 13. bis 19. Jahrhundert“, Maltechnik/Restauro 2, 1973, pp. 74-105

Restorer Contact: petra.dostalova@gmail.com Petra Hoffstädterová Dostálová (MFA) is a conservator-restorer, specialist in canvas and panel paintings. She graduated in 2002 from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava, Slovakia. Nowadays she is on Doctoral study at the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Easel paintings and Wood panel paintings at the same Academy. She is working since 2006 in the Conservation-restoration ateliers of the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Senior conservator scientist Contact: jana.sanyova@kikirpa.be Jana Sanyova (PhD) is a senior conservator scien-tist, specialist in historical paint technology. She obtained her M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia in 1983 and her PhD. From Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium in 2001. She has been working at the Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels, Belgium, since 1990.

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heritage in danger

The Royal Church
by Oliviu Boldura and Anca Dinã


Introduction The importance of cultural heritage for the identity of a nation is unquestionable. Despite this, the protection of some monuments and of their artistic components is far from being a suitable conservation model. Through out our experience and activity of mural paintings conservation, we encountered severely damaged monuments imperatively needing safeguarding interventions. Among those that may be considered of a remarkable historical and aesthetic value, two churches from Târgovişte, former capital of Wallachia1, are presented herein: The Royal Church which is part of the Museal Complex “The Royal Court” of Târgovişte and The Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen Church. Although their historical evolution was different, at present both monuments are in advanced state of decay and are worth being presented as case studies of endangered monuments. We chose to start with the presentation of the actual state of The Royal Church, due to its historical and patrimonial importance. The Royal Church of Târgovişte is currently affected by massive meteoric water infiltration due to the damaged roof. The effect is visible on the outside in the form of dark stains slashed by salts efflorescence and gaps where elements of masonry disappeared. From the inside, particularly aggressive evolution of salts can be seen which has led to brittleness of the support layer, paint layer detachment and a rapid development of biological

Figures 1 and 2. The Royal Church from Târgovişte, west and south-east elevations.

agents, including algae. Basically, moisture infiltration has joined with the capillarity in some areas being almost impossible to distinguish how much from the original painting still survived underneath. Beside salts weathering problems, some fragments of the murals that were detached some years ago and remounted appear now as folded into ridges such as a moistened cellulose material. The Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen Church was for a long period of time abandoned while the roof totally vanished leaving free space for vegetation development. The nave tower also collapsed and thus the paintings from that area were lost. Presently the church is covered with a temporary tin roof partially rusted and is still in

1 Wallachia is the southern geographical region which

since 1859 is part of Romania. For approximately three centuries, Târgovişte had periodically shared the state primacy with Curtea de Argeş and Bucharest.
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a grave state of preservation: the church structure is weakened due to the degradation of the bricks which left holes in the masonry while the mural paintings are detaching from the walls, on the edge of collapsing. The entire site is in desolate state of dismantle, with vegetation reaching the walls and masonry fragments laying around the monument, everything giving the impression of a deserted space. Monument conservation assessment The Royal Church2 having as patron The Assumption of the Holy Virgin is part of a monument ensemble which centuries before (1395-1803) had civil, military or ecclesiastic functions. Therefore they suffered in time structural and spatial changes according to the rulers’ necessities. Nowadays, the church is the most valuable part of the complex due to both its dimensions (30m length and 14m width) and the fact that the rest of the royal buildings are in a sever ruin state. Founded by the boyar Petru Cercel in 1584, the church suffered several important interventions, among which some were made during Constantine Brancoveanu reign: the wall paintings were redone, the church floor was remade in stone, an access staircase was built from nave towards the loft and four windows were opened on the south side of the nave.

The church plan is the one used in Wallachia, derived from Byzantine type known as Greek-cross plan: without lateral apses, divided in altar, nave and narthex and followed on the west side by an open exonarthex - a local characteristic porch. The researches confirmed that the facades were initially covered by a thin layer of lime plaster ornamented with bricks imitations which was later decorated with vegetal motifs following the Brâncovenesc style. The interior wall paintings were done during different subsequent stages3 which are not yet exactly known. The only certainty is that most of the mural ensemble was completed during Constantine Brâncoveanu reign. The date and the

Figure 3. Naos, iconographic representation.

2 The present research was done by Professor Oliviu Boldura,

PhD in collaboration with conservators Anca Dina and Magda Drobotã as part of a conservation project proposal intended to safeguard the mural paintings ensemble.
3 The most recent study was done by Prof. Dr. Corina Popa and

Dr. Maria Georgescu [5], dating the mural paintings as follows: the murals recovered after the restoration intervention

from 1962-1963 (the south room of the altar) is probably contemporary with the church construction in 1583. Approximately 90% from the mural ensemble (altar, nave and narthex) is part of the Brâncovenesc style and was built in 1698. The semi-vault and semi cylinder of the altar, a part of the tower base and the four semi cylindrical vaults of the nave were repainted in 1752 and 1785 due to damages caused by earthquake, according to the church inscriptions.
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researches from that time highlighted, on the contrary, grave structural problems. The intervention strategy and materials, such as cement, were adapted from the constructions field and are well known today for being incompatible with the original structure. All those repairs had a direct or indirect negative consequence on the wall paintings. Thus, some parts of the murals had to be extracted on the areas where structural consolidation was done and remounted afterwards. Furthermore, the construction materials used caused in time salt weathering problems. During our conservation assessment we observed that in fact the previous intervention didn’t solved properly the grave structural problems which are still present on both the exterior and interior of the monument. Displacement of the masonry, the effects of the infiltration humidity still active and the new fissures occurred in the intervention mortars are proving our assertions. In our opinion the main cause of degradation of the monument is the improper roof that caused water infiltration. At present, this is still a severe problem as in some areas the infiltration moisture is reaching the floor level. The effects of the structural degradation and of the infiltration humidity are visible on the interior as well, where the wall paintings present different specific degradation processes. Fissures and cracks are visible all over the walls, reaching half a meter width in the altar. Most of the cracks were previous filled with mortars which are actually hiding the real extent of the damage.

Figure 4. Naos, image from the intrados of the entrance door.

authors of the mural paintings are known from the painted inscription placed on the gable of west nave door and from the church narthex they were done in 1698 by Constantinos4, Ioan, Ioachim and Ştefan. The monument was affected during time by earthquakes, fires or wars5 and thus demanded several emergency interventions. The archives documents prove that most of the interventions were made at structure level for tower and vaulting consolidation but also for the repairing or total remaking of the roof. We have noticed that the damages were analyzed and treated independently and lacked the overall view or strategy. The first significant project comprising the whole monument as an ensemble was conceived only between 1961 and 1966. The

4 Constantinos was a Greek painter settled in Wallachia

5 Traces and fragments of war munitions were documented

who painted important murals ensembles during the 18th century.
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during the conservation interventions of the monument facades.


Figure 5. Meteoric water infiltrates through the damaged roof on the level of the masonry structure, causing visible effects on the exterior brick and interior mural surface. On these areas the loss of consistency of the materials, white veils due to the salt migration and dark sports can be observed. Persistent humidity provoked the appearance of algae in the window jamb.
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Figure 6. Altar, diaconicon vault. The state of the mural painting and even its presence is difficult to assess due to evolution of biological agents and salt development on areas of moisture infiltration.

In the altar vaulting a peculiar deformation of the murals is visible – here the paintings were done in a more recent period. The masonry irregularities are visible through the support layer. We are assuming that the murals from this area were applied on a deformed structure that continued to transform in time. In what concerns the aesthetic presentation, the fillings of the support were generally treated in gray tones but mortars covered by red tones or chromatically integrated by repaintings in colours resembling the original are also present. Concerning the conservation state of the paint layer we must mention that there are two main aspects which led to different degradations: the influence of the diverse phenomenon mentioned above as the causes of the damages for the whole monument and the previous interventions, such
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as the detachment by strappo and remounting of some fragments. The paint layer is not covered by thick dirt deposits as the religious function of the church was replaced by the museum6 one, reducing in this way the consumption of candles, and due to the interventions from the last century which comprised the cleaning of paintings. The infiltration humidity also played an important role in the paint layer degradation, the advanced salt weathering producing both efflorescence and cryptoflorescence. As a result, salts veils and different types of flaking appeared on the paint layer. The water leakage directly on the painting caused the migration of the colour in some areas.
6 On the initiative of Grigore Tocilescu and Take Ionescu,

the ruins from Targovişte were transformed into the Royal Court Museal Complex in 1892.


Figures 7 and 8. Damages of the masonry structure are visible on the mural painting as cracks, fissures, displacements, support detachment and surface loss.
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Figures 9 and 10. Persistent infiltration moisture led to the erosion and disintegration of the support layer through a continuous process of salts migration and recrystallisation. Figure 11. Nave, decay of the mural painting due to cracks and displacements of the support.

The continuous water infiltrations led to very “expressive”7 degradations of the paint layer; important parts of the representations have now an embossed aspect (faces, hands or other details of characters or ornaments detached from the paint layer level). There are areas where the paint layer is completly lost, detached or just hanging on spiders nets or fibres from the support layer. The humid environment with low ventilation and lightening was a perfect medium for biologic attack development, which now affects the surface of the paintings in the form of whitish veils or back spots. Moreover, the large quantity of water accumulated in some areas has been the ideal medium for algae growth.

7 The differential loss of the adhesion of the colour layer to

the support can be observed in areas where this is composed of white pigments mixed with lime and used in pure form. The colours that were applied thicker detached in the form of scales or have a fractured aspect, giving the impression of a stiff material; the colours applied diluted or without addition of white pigment detach in the form of small scales, being fragmented in small particles.
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Figure 12. Altar semi-vault, deformations and displacements of the mural painting support.



Figure 13-17. Salts evolution resulted in the loss of cohesion of the colour layer and of its adherence to the support. The layer of colour is powdery or detached in fragments with size up to several square centimetres. Nave and altar images.


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Figure 18. Altar vault, north. Loss of cohesion and detachment of the colour layer due to salts development.
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Figures 19 and 20. Nave, north wall. Biologic attack and salts development on the areas affected by humidity infiltration.

Chemical alterations of pigments (minium red, azurite, yellow or red ochre) are visible in isolated areas, altering the original chromatic aspect of the paintings. The previously retouched fillings have now a glossy aspect due to the binder used which provoked flaking of the paint layer when it was carelessly applied over the original. Going back to one of the main reasons for the degradation of the paint layer, the decision of detaching and remounting some fragments of the murals to facilitate the structural intervention affected dramatically the respective areas (a surface of 182 square meters). An intervention that presumes the extraction of a fragment of mural painting is leading inevitably to various damages therefore is well known that this decision must be only taken after all other solutions are excluded. In this case the extraction was necessary due to the grave earthquake damages which were solved by introducing reinforced cement pillars in the walls. The detachment was done by strappo method which implies the removal of the paint layer and causes irrevocable changes on the original mural aspect. The intervention8 took place in the 60’s when the access to information and new technologies and materials was very restricted due the communist regime from Romania, there72

Figure 21. Detachment of the colour due to the binder of the repaintings.

fore the authors were forced to elaborate from scratch the entire methodology and to use only locally available materials at that time. All these circumstances made the task even more difficult.

8 Information on the extraction moment - materials used

and methodology - can be read in the publication of the authors of the intervention [3].
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Figures 22 and 23. Due to the detachment and remounting of the mural painting the original aspect of the surface and part of the colour layer consistency were lost. Nave, tower.

After the structural consolidation of the architecture, the wall painting fragments were mounted in their original places. The damages produced during the intervention increased in time due to the characteristics of the material used, their behaviour on long term and also the new support proprieties. The instability of the microclimate and the rise of the dampness played also a negative role in all this setting. Presently, the remounted painting fragments changed dramatically their original aspect. Various deformations occurred either since the painting was replaced on the walls, due to the stiffness of the materials used or during the removal of the glue and textile layers from the facing. There are also remains of glue9 on the original painted surface that are inducing chromatic alterations.

All these aspects are raising complex issues for the future conservation of those areas. The glue stains left on the original surface will be very difficult to remove; aqueous solutions can produce deformations of the materials which were used for strappo and also can reactivate salts from the masonry that has been consolidated with cement. The deformations of the paintings will be impossible to correct due to the stiffness of the paint layer which occur as a consequence of the improper materials used during the extraction. The paint layer is also very damaged, either detached from the fabric used in the relining or flaking due to the improper binder used in previous repaintings. Conclusions Presently The Royal Church from Târgovişte, valuable monument from the 16th century, is in a poor conservation state fighting for its survival. Looking on the whole at the conservation problem of this church, what emerges is the necessity of adoption of uniform and effective measures to

9 The adhesive used in the detachment was skin glue (35%)

dissolved in water and alcohol, glycerin, calcium chloride crystals and salicylic acid.
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Figures 24 and 25. Microclimate variations and ulterior alteration of materials used in the detachment process, under the influence of a new support, have led to the appearance of contractions, colour detachment and losses. Details of painting from the nave, tower.
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conserve all the elements that this architectural ensemble holds. In the first place, measures to eliminate sources of dampness, namely the infiltration and capillarity humidity. Subsequently it should be proceeded to the structural stability, without affecting the mural paintings. Ultimately, it is necessary to conserve the artistic components represented by the sculpted stone elements and the mural paintings, aiming to the preservation of all the historical stages10. The case of The Royal Church from Târgovişte is one that requires immediate attention. The monument is in a critical situation but at least it is now included in a conservation project which hopefully will recover its authentic value.

Contact: oliviu_boldura@zappmobile.ro Oliviu Boldura is professor at the ConservationRestoration Department from the Art University in Bucharest and holds a PhD in Aesthetics of Visual Arts. Since 35 years he has been working in the field of conservation of mural paintings of important monuments in northern Romania, some of them being part of UNESCO World Heritage: Voroneţ, Arbore, Moldoviţa, Probota, Suceviţa, "Sf. Gheorghe" from Suceava and Bãlineşti. On the on-site conservation projects that he coordinates, he is the promoter of experimental applications of laser and nanotechnologies in the mural painting conservation and documentation. Oliviu Boldura is member in the speciality commissions from the Ministry of Culture and Cults of Romania.

10 Recently the conservation works for the architecture

and structure were started, under the coordination of Arch. Doina Petrescu assisted for part of mural painting by the conservator-restorer Geanina Roşu.

Bibliography [1] G. Mihãescu, E. Fruchter, Curtea Domneascã din Târgovişte, Ed. Sport-Turism, Bucharest, 1986 [2] C. Pavelescu, Th. Barbu, Soluţii constructive aplicate la restaurarea monumentelor istorice, Sesiunea Ştiinţificã a Direcţiei Monumentelor Istorice, Direcţia pentru Construcţii Arhitecturã şi Sistematizare, 1963 [3] D. Moraru, I. Istudor, Cercetãri în legãturã cu extragerea şi reaşezarea frescei sub forma peliculei de picturã, Sesiunea Ştiinţificã a Direcţiei Monumentelor Istorice, 1963 [4] C. Moisescu, Târgovişte.Monumente de istorie şi artã, Ed. Meridiane, Bucharest, 1979 [5] C. Popa, M. Georgescu, Particularitãţi stilistice şi iconografice ale ansamblului de picturi din Biserica Domneasca din Târgovişte [6] N. Gika-Budeşti, Biserica Domneasca din Târgovişte, Buletinul Comisiunii Monumentelor Istorice în anul III, Ed. Administraţiei Bisericii, Bucharest, 1910
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Contact: anca@zappmobile.ro Anca Dinã is a conservator-restorer specialised in mural paintings. She graduated in Conservation from the Art University in Bucharest where she also completed a Master in Visual Arts, with specialisation in Conservation. She works for the enterprise CERECS ART S.R.L., having coordinated several intervention areas from on-site conservation projects, such as St. George Church from the “Sf. Ioan cel Nou” Monastery in Suceava (2003), “The Beheading of St. John the Baptist” Church from Arbore (2004–2006) and the Church of Suceviţa Monastery (2007). She has been working as assistant editor at e-conservation magazine from 2007.

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