God and conservators: Seeing the invisible on a wall

Swiecka, Ewa (2003) God and conservators: Seeing the invisible on a wall. In: 14th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Place, memory, meaning: preserving intangible values in monuments and sites’, 27 – 31 oct 2003, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Wall decorations and drawings are present in various cultures. Mural paintings, like tradition, are fixed to a place. Conservation became much more science than art, as it was in the beginning of heritage care; conservators/restorers of art objects are usually the most interested in the methods of practice. Professional exchange of technical experience during numerous meetings concerns mainly “case studies”. The training of conservators is focused on issues of art, technology and crafts. The discussion of what is more important, the historical or aesthetic aspect of paintings, has a long tradition. It is not so often that the third, invisible dimension of preserved evidence is noticed: the spiritual value of a painting. “In situ” problems of conservation are not always solved by professionals. Regarding the places of worship of various belief systems, local communities have sometimes preferences different from modern trends of heritage protection. Presenting the traces of interior paintings, on one hand, and painting over it to look like newly-made, on the other, is not a question of approach between Eastern and Western understanding of authenticity, but a different way of care. The lot of painted Gods depends on believers.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Swiecka, Ewa
Languages: English
Keywords: wall paintings; intangible heritage; intangible values; beliefs; conservation
Subjects: O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 17. Intangible cultural heritage
C.ARCHITECTURE > 08. Wall paintings
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2003, 14th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2010 08:02
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:16
URI: https://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/508

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