The Conservation of Byobu

Berlin, July 2017 – Last week I was in Berlin again, after almost three years, attending the Workshop on the Conservation of Japanese Screens at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst in Dahlem.

One more time I had the chance to meet my teachers from Japan and colleagues from all over the world, and learn about complex objects such as byobu and traditional techniques to built and restore them.

Once again a wonderful and useful experience for both my professional and personal growth.

This five-day workshop is designed for conservators and restorers who already have an advanced knowledge of Japanese restoration and conservation techniques. It is aimed to introduce the basic technique of Japanese paper restoration techniques, the structure of Japanese screens like byobu(folding screen), the analysis of damages on screens through the practical work conducted by Japanese specialists. Applicants are required to have previously taken either “Basics for Japanese Paper and silk conservation” or similar workshops run by Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties such as JPC 2006 downward.”

In the pictures: moments from the workshops; life in Berlin.

Learning Papermaking in South Korea

Seoul, December 2016 – I recently came back from South Korea where I have attended the workshop on Hanji paper making for foreign specialists held by the Korean Craft & Design Foundation.
My colleagues and I could personally try the Oebal and Ssangbal traditional Korean technique and make our sheet under the expert supervision of very skilful Korean masters.

In the pictures: masters making paper with the oebal technique; the master and me; the group of participants, Korean tutors, teachers and govern representatives.

A pleasant discovery in Istanbul

Istanbul, August 2016 – Last week I could visit the paper conservation lab of Serendip Restorasyon in Istanbul and discuss with them about paper and photograph conservation, sharing our knowledge and skills at international level. Indeed a great experience, thank you!
I really hope that we will have the opportunity to meet again soon…
Stay tuned for updates on the topic!

In the pictures: Sükrü Oral and me evaluating some tools; me looking at a photograph; a nice group of people from Italy, Turkey and Pakistan at dinner; the city of Istanbul.

The National Museum of Oman

Muscat, March 2016 – Last month I could spend three weeks in the Sultanate of Oman working as a conservator for the National Museum of Oman in Muscat.
Me and other three Italian colleagues have been part of a mission lead by the Italian company Regoli & Radiciotti for the conservation and preservation of Western and Islamic volumes, printed books (XIX-XX cent.) and manuscripts (XVII cent.), belonging to the Museum collection.

In the pictures: Abdullah and a group of colleagues; Wadi Shab; Seifa Lagoon; the Grand Mosque of Muscat.

The Hanji Korean Mulberry Paper Project

Rome, January 2015 – In Asia, Hanji has been used in book and paper conservation since ever but its use amongst European conservators is scarcely documented. The present work will contribute toward a better comprehension of this material, of its mechanical features, its durability and possible applications in the conservation of paper based items.

Within the Group 130, composed by ten paper, book and photo mid-career professional conservators winners of the Hanji Award, my colleagues and I will investigate the particular features of Hanji paper and will evaluate its applicability in the conservation of a range of historical and artistic items in the form of book, graphic art and photograph. Mechanical reaction of Hanji paper to stress and its resistance to wear & tear will be evaluated through its use in conjunction with different materials, e.g. baritate photographic supports, vellum, tanned leather book structures.

Until now presentations of the work took place at the ICON Conference Adapt&Evolve in London in April 2015, at the Vatican Museums in Rome in May 2015, in Milan in June 2015 and in Turin in December 2015.

We will present the results of Hanji application in photograph conservation at the ICOM-CC Photographic Materials Working Group Interim Meeting to be held at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam in September 2016.

Workshops on Japanese Conservation in Berlin


Berlin, December 2014 – This December I could attend two workshops on Japanese Paper Conservation Tradition organized by The National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, with the support of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin:

  • a basic-level workshop whose aim is to introduce Japanese art objects on paper and silk through lectures, demonstrations, as well as practical exercises conducted by Japanese specialists. It will be focused on the mounting formats, the materials and techniques, general principles of conservation and restoration, and the practical exercises includes the handling of scrolls and screens;
  • an advanced-level workshop designed for conservators, restorers and restoration specialists who already have an advanced knowledge of Japanese restoration and conservation techniques. It is aimed to introduce the analysis of damages on Japanese hanging scrolls, the emergency measures such as reinforcement with paper strips (orefuse in Japanese), removing and re-attaching of roller rods, and restoration techniques such as lining with Japanese paper through the practical exercises.

In the pictures: moments of the workshops.