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Art conservation: Restoring masterpieces requires a league of its own

Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Thu, February 27, 2020  /  04:00 pm
Art conservation: Restoring masterpieces requires a league of its own

Picture perfect: Visitors take pictures in front of the Mona Lisa after it was returned to its place at the Louvre Museum in Paris in October 2019 following a two-month renovation for the gallery housing the world's most famous painting. (AFP/Eric Feferberg)

Many great artists, even though they left the mortal realm centuries ago, still enjoy a great deal of recognition for their legacies. While it is true that exceptional materials can help create an artwork that can stand the test of time, many of the most famous pieces of art in museums and galleries around the world are still intact thanks to the work of art conservationists and restorers. Even then, some works of art are still too valuable to even touch. Speaking at a seminar dedicated to art conservation held by the Italian Cultural Institute in Jakarta, art historian Marco Riccòmini explained that Leonardo da Vinci's Giaconda (otherwise known as the Mona Lisa), arguably the most famous painting in the world, is so valuable that even art restorers are not allowed to touch it at the Louvre. "By profession, like the restorers, I like to touch the paintings to ...