The Restoration of Art – Is the Possible Damage Worth the Risk?

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The restoration of art is known as the “presentation of cultural heritage for the future”. For art restorers –the restoration of art is done to “re-vamp” the past of great art works in an attempt to make them “new” again. Some art historians, artists and restorers believed that a lot of art had lost its aesthetic appeal due to aging, natural disasters/accidents (earthquakes), and vandalism. Whereas some experts have contradicting views as they feel that in the attempt to restore the art, it is taking away the authenticity of the artwork.
The issue arose from the factors surrounding art restoration such as whether or not restoration should go beyond cleaning and reattaching fallen pieces. The issue concerns the legitimacy of restoration as some art restorer’s repair by filling in crevices with new material using new paint to cover solid surfaces in an attempt to restore its “original state”. Cleaning essentially is a very controversial factor to the restoration of art as it isn’t a reversible process which causes the major concern that cleaning could damage the work rather than restore it to its former glory. Within this issue there are a variety of views, some who agree with the restoration of art and some whom do not. I will be analyzing two of these contradicting opinions as well as discuss my justifiable conclusions.

The following two articles (underlined) highlight two different points of view on the restoration of art, the first emphasizing the negative affects restoration has had on artworks and how it is not worth the risk, whereas the second article shows restoration to be a positive attribute to the world of historic art. Writer, Esther Inglis-Arshell writes in her article titled “The worst art restoration mistakes of all time”. She states when summarizing her view/response to the restoration of art that “every decision is another chance to ruin

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