The Ethics of Art Restoration
- To restore the artwork as far as possible to the state in which it existed when the artist completed it
- As far as possible to try to move the cogs of time backwards
- All processes should be reversible
- Performing the minimum essential intervention
- The level of restoration should be such that a regular observer would not distinguish the restored areas from a distance of 1-1.5 meters. In other words the damage that existed no longer causes a visual disturbance, but an expert who professionally inspects the work would know where the restorative work was performed. Of course the records accompanying the artwork help to identify any restorative work.
The most frequent repairs
For paintings on canvas
- Deteriorated coloring (including eruption, absence or separation of layers)
- Weakening of the canvas, waving, signs of stress, sinking of the canvas 'stretcher'.
- Foreign material/bodies on the face of the painting (paint, insects, unsuitable cleaning fluid)
- Wear and tear, scratching
- Darkening and alterations of hue
Artworks on paper
- Alterations of color
- Water stains
- Insect holes
Of course there is an immense variety of other unique techniques and materials and phenomena which were not mentioned here and would need special consideration.