Detective Work of Conservators and Restorers

STIPIC SAFAR posterAuthors: Luka Krešimir Stipić and Andrea Šafran
Mentor: Zvjezdana Jembrih, Associate Professor; Ida Blažičko PhD, Assistant Professor

Department for Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Study programme: Integrated undergraduate and graduate course of study in conservation-restoration
Specialization: Sculpture (4th year of study)

Abstract
In the storeroom of the Diocesan Museum of the Zagreb Archdiocese, we found a wooden sculpture in a very bad condition, with no head or limbs, with minimal remains of polychromy and gilding. At this point, we had no documented data about it. The structure of the wood was exceptionally crumbly, so it was necessary to start with consolidation and other preliminary work on it. Continuing our research, we found a pit on the thorax, which implied that the sculpture was that of Christ. Later, we stumbled upon a picture of a wooden relief depicting the scene of "Blessing of the Virgin Mary", from the Chapel of St. James in Očura, which was said to be lost. Our sculpture of Christ seemed to match the Christ figure that was on the relief. After some time, in a storeroom in Marija Bistrica, we found a wooden frame that matched the appearance of the wooden relief "Blessing of the Virgin Mary". Soon the conservation and restoration work started on the frame, considering its bad condition. Stabilization of both parts of the relief is still in process. The story of this relief tells us that the job of conservator-restorer is often a job similar to that of a detective. The future of the relief is to hopefully find more missing parts and to be returned to its original place in the Očura chapel.

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Short biography
LUKA KREŠIMIR STIPIĆ was born in Zagreb on May 5th, 1994. He finished the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb, at the Department of Sculpture. He is a 4th-year student at the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, specializing in sculpture. He organized and exhibited his work at many exhibitions with the Young Sculptors of Zagreb group (which he is the founder of).
ANDREA ŠAFRAN was born in Zagreb, October 21st, 1995. She finished the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb, at the department of Interior Design. She is a 4th year student at the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Art of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, specializing in sculpture. She attended the ISA (International Summer Seminar for Young Academics) – student practice in Orlamünde, Germany, in 2018. She spent the winter semester of 2018/19 academic year in Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow as a part of the Erasmus student exchange.

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