The Italian Almanac

art restoring

Italian News / Art - September 29

Hundreds of Florentine art restorers will soon showcase their skills on the Web, the first stage in plans to turn the city into a sort of 'Silicon Valley' of the sector . Florence Planning Councillor Riccardo Nencini said the Virtual Restoration City Web portal would feature links and information on major restoration groups, training centres as well as addresses for a slew of artisans and specialists.

"Florence can provide a mixture of age-old artisan's skills and and scientific knowledge: we could become a sort of Silicon Valley of the art of restoration," Nencini told a news conference to unveil the project. The site is currently being set up but once it is running, it will offer links to schools, specialists, craftsmen and laboratories as well as up-to-date reports on new restoration techniques and procedures.

Officials have already tasked a leading sector expert, Andrea Todorow, with collecting data for the site, expected to be unveiled this spring, said Cristina Acidini of the world-famous Opificio delle Pietre Dure restoration workshop. "Todorow's report will also give us an opportunity to run a sort of census on the sector and the information gathered will then be readily available to anyone."

The Opificio hosts a state-of-the-art scientific lab, supervises 11 restoration workshops and runs Italy's leading training centre for restorers. It was set up by Medici Archduke Ferdinando I for the production and workmanship of semiprecious stone furnishings. But by the late 19th century it expanded to include the conservation of art works. It is considered one of the world's most prestigious conservation workshops.