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Skeletons in the closet?

Conservation and restoration of manuscripts at a crossroads in the 21st century


Thu, 11 April 2019
17:00 until 18:30


Main Building – Room 2


Free admission subject to collection of a ticket

The last session of this seminar cycle focuses on the preservation and restoration of medieval illuminations, based on research coordinated by Maria João Melo, Adelaide Miranda and, more recently, Graça Videira Lopes.

A historical, artistic and literary heritage of unparalleled value, the illuminated manuscript is one of the most original artistic and cultural expressions of the Western Middle Ages. Research has shown that such works face great challenges in terms of their preservation. If, on the one hand, the original colours are preserved, on the other hand, various forms of degradation require measures that avoid the disappearance of medieval illuminations. In this regard, it is essential that the decisions taken are the result of in-depth and interdisciplinary reflection. In order to do this, it is necessary to ask a few questions from the outset: Is it necessary to restore the illuminations? How can pictorial layers and writing inks be stabilised? What is the impact of the various treatments proposed on our perception of colours and on their future preservation?

This session draws on the examples of the Sharrer Parchment – whose restoration has attracted controversy – and some of the illuminated manuscripts held in the Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian collection (Bible, LA211; Lamoignon Book of Hours, LA237 and the Acciaiuoli Missal, LA236).

Speakers: Maria João Melo with Maria Adelaide Miranda, Luís Correia de Sousa, Graça Videira Lopes, Paula Nabais and Rita Araújo

This by lecture is part of the seminar cycle Treasures on Parchment. Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian’s collection of western illuminated manuscripts.




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