Current Affairs
Restoration experts hope to see their profession officially recognized by a warrant by end of year

The science of restoration is expected to start being recognized by a professional warrant. Maltese restoration experts are hoping that this year, the Cultural Heritage law will be passed which will provide for the recognition of their profession.

In a year during which Malta is in the middle of European celebrations related to culture, especially as the European Capital of Culture, restoration and conservation experts are hoping that by the end of this year, they will receive a warrant.

The President of the organization which represents restoration and conservation experts (MAPCo-Re), James Licari said that this year, a new culture law will be proposed which will provide recognition of their profession according to European regulation and standards. He said that this was a very important step which they have been waiting a long time for.

Mr Licari said ”a warrant is not just a piece of paper but a legal way for a restorer to be given responsibility for culture in the same way that a doctor is responsible for a patient. We want a warrant as a way to be recognized here in Malta.”

He said that the warrant is awarded on education and training standards. He explained that a restorer needs to respect the thoughts of the artist or architect who would have carried out the original work.

”We are not artists, but we are there to respect and scientifically study the way the materials were made. As professionals, instead of calling ourselves artists, we say we are scientists. We can understand the science behind the art.”

During a conference of the European organization for conservation and restoration experts which was held in Malta, President Susan Corr stressed the need for uniform standards in Europe and the importance of being legally recognised.

”The work that the restorer does is in the public interest. We work on cultural heritage which is a human right. We have to access cultural heritage and that it is transmitted into the future in its authenticity, that it is culturally legible and an authentic heritage. The conservator-restorer through distinct training and education is empowered and authorised to work and manage that change and make intervention and therefore the work is done in best practice.”

The conference, which was held at the archaeology museum and at St Elmo, included the participation of organizations from 15 European countries, including France, Germany, Holland and Italy.

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