It is recent news the publication of a call promoted by the Province of Salerno, in which professional conservatories were invited to apply to lend their work for the restoration of the institution’s heritage, totally for free. In exchange for it , the call just mentioned some promotion.
It is upsetting, but it didn’t surprise us. In fact, what was written in a public call in Italy, a country where restoration should be a serious affair, is not far from what we have been seeing for years now.
The truth is that we are a country that restores its works almost exclusively thanks to philanthropists or associations, who engage in constant fundraising.
The perpetuation of our beauty is now entrusted to the availability of enthusiasts, often foreigners, who donate money, even considerable amounts (often to be able to deduct them from taxes) to fill needs that should instead find support from our Public Administration.
All this could be less bad if the lack of funds to allocate to this sector did not also have the consequence of degrading the professionalism of those who carry out the works, and minimizing the restorations budgets, where even diagnostics, therefore the deep knowledge of the work and its conservative problems, is made redundant or carried out with non-scientific methodologies and technologies, becoming therefore fundamentally useless.
The value of the restorer’s work cannot be relegated to a mention on the plaque that flanks the restored work.
You cannot repay the professionalism acquired in years of study and practice with a citation in the newspaper.
The expression ‘there is not enough money’ is not justified. The money must be found.
The restoration carried out with minimal budget will totally be to the detriment of the work and society as a whole, because, the most suitable care for its preservation for future generations will not be carried out.
A disaster that has been announced for far too long, which none of the public institutions really seem to want to tackle.
Perhaps it is time not to ask for unilateral sacrifices and really recognise the importance of this sector for the preservation of our heritage. Not just words (and citations).