Where and when
Director of Museo Novecento
President of Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze
Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of Florence
What does “restoration” mean? Who or what is it for? Who are the protagonists of this complex matter and where do they operate? The themes and the core concepts of the restoration are today more than ever fundamental elements for a conscious vision of the conservation of cultural heritage. These and other issues are regularly examined by Marco Ciatti, former Superintendent at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and Restoration Laboratories in Florence, within his volume On the “restoration” of cultural heritage. Viaticum for students published by Edifir – Florence Editions (2022).
The volume will be the subject of a meeting to be held on Tuesday 29 November at 6:00 pm in the cinema hall of the Museo Novecento in Florence. Accompanying the author in the presentation of the book will be Sergio Risaliti, Director of the Museo Novecento, Carlo Sisi, President of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Fulvio Cervini, Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of Florence.
In continuity with the Notes for a manual of history and theory of restoration (Edifir, 2009), with which it shares the popular intention addressed to students of art history and restoration, as well as professionals in the sector, this volume illustrates a series of reflections derived from Ciatti’s long professional experience, gained in the field of restoration of works of art, which can serve as a “viaticum” for those who want to engage in this complex discipline, still not always sufficiently thorough. and victim of many misconceptions. In this sense, the volume deals with the theme of restoration from the inexorable passage of time to the choice of the operator on how and whether to act; how the restoration may or may not be reversible, thus also investigating the future of the cultural heritage, from war damage to atmospheric catastrophes; as in the past, steps were taken to bring cultural heritage to the enjoyment of future generations, from the documentation of restoration activities to the latest technological avant-gardes, up to the theme of contemporary restoration. Through expedients and episodes to make the theory clearer and more concrete, Ciatti warns the reader about the “deadly sins” of the restoration, too often carried out because they were carried out in good faith by the experts themselves: yet, the author concludes, “the restoration is the means chosen to ensure the conservation of the work, not to make it a manifesto of oneself or one’s ideas”.
Art Historian at the Ministry of Culture since 1980, in service from 1981 to 1984 at the Superintendence for Artistic and Historical Heritage of Siena and since 1984 at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and Restoration Laboratories of Florence, of which he was Superintendent from 2012 to 2022. Since 1998 he has been an adjunct lecturer in various Italian universities: he currently teaches History and Theory of Restoration at the University of Florence and the OPD School of Advanced Education. He has over 430 publications to his credit. He is an Honorary Academician of the painting class of the Academy of Drawing Arts in Florence and has lectured on restoration issues at numerous international cultural institutions. He has directed the restorations of important masterpieces, from Raphael to Giotto, from Mantegna to Bronzino, from Leonardo to Pollock and has dealt with the related enhancement initiatives, publications of special catalogs, conferences and organization of exhibitions related to the restored works.