To conserve or to restore: finding the balance

HALAMBEK posterAuthor: Leda Halambek
Mentors: Teaching Assistant Ana Božičević and Associate Professor Andrej Aranicki

Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb (Croatia)
Study programme: Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
Specialization: Sculpture (4th year of study)


The poster shows the issues which the conservator-restorer faces in everyday work, and refers to the question of the final presentation of the work of art, in this case a sculpture. Through several different examples the question of balance between conserving and restoring is attempted to be answered, and emphasizes the importance of context when deciding on the scope of the works required. Each work of art requires an individual approach, critical assessment, valuation and general context. In other words, there are many factors that affect the final decision making and each of them needs to be thought over. The task of the conservator-restorer is to firstly look at the complete history of the art piece and if possible to perceive its original function and appearance from any subsequent modifications. Priorities have to be set: before asking HOW to conserve-restore it is needed to ask WHAT to conserve-restore and FOR WHO? Interdisciplinary approach, expert discussions and education should be an integral part of contemporary conservation-restoration profession, so the works carried out can be of greater quality and in accordance with the principles and ethics of conservation and restoration.

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Short biography

After having completed, in 2011, School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb (Aranžersko-scenografski odjel), LEDA HALAMBEK enrolled in the Department of Conservation and Restoration of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She is currently in her fourth year, specializing in conservation-restoration of sculpures. During her studies, Leda took part in various art workshops and projects.