On 7th to 11 th June 1993 the Association of Restorers, in cooperation with the Archives of Historical Art Technology (AHVT) and the National Gallery in Prague, organised the international Symposium on the Technology of Art Works of the Central European Region and the Czech Restoration School.

The symposium took place in the historical buildings of the Early Gothic St Agnes Convent in the Old Town of Prague which house part of the collections of the National Gallery and also its Restoration Department. The papers delivered at this symposium or presented in the form of panels are printed in this 3rd issue of TECHNOLOGIA ARTIS. Thanks to the Association of Restorers, which won the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic for this event, the continuity of the publication of this periodical has been assured and the range of authors expanded so that it now includes a number of foreign countries.

Because of the considerable length of some of the papers read it was necessary to shorten some of the texts and also to select illustrative material with regard to the set size of the volume. We also apologise to several authors whose papers, due to the extent of the documentary material, have had to be transferred to the 4th issue – brief information on these papers appears in the sections "From the material of the AHVT". The fourth issue of TECHNOLOGIA ARTIS will concentrate more on abstracts and book reviews. The result of many consultations and discussions during the symposium is the observation that the chief value of this international periodical should be brief reports on the results of research, wherever and in whatever form they were published. The Archives of Historical Art Technology therefore appeals to authors, publishers, specialised schools and studios, museums, galleries and cultural heritage institutions all over the world to send us their publications containing technological analyses of historical art works for reviewing. We should also welcome cooperation in the form of the sending of actual reviews, as the main facts on research work can best be judged by research workers from the land in which the art works originated.

The Prague symposium started a new tradition of gatherings devoted only to historical art technology, separate from museum and conservation problems. This specialisation is useful for more marked utilisation of facts ascertained for the expertise and artistic classification of works of art. This will also gradually create a wider international community because the Archives of Historical Art Technology considers, in keeping with its Statute, all participants and contributors as its members.

The Editorial Board and Organisation Committee of the Symposium

 




The Organisation Committee of the Symposium thanks all those who helped to realise the symposium, especially on the technical and organisational side. We therefore thank the Secretary of the Association of Restorers, Ms Véra Fuxová, and all members of the Association who played a direct part in the preparation, also the President of the Archa Cultural Trust, Ms Lýdie Stohrová, and the photographer of the Academy of Fine Arts, Mr Pavel Paul. Because there were many names and tue would not like to leave anyone out, we express our thanks to entire institutions, i.e. the National Gallery in Prague, the Institute of Building Information and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague; in particular we must thank the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Minister himself, PhDr Jindřich Kabát, who personally patronised the entire event.

(From the opening of the symposium)
»The restoration of works of art uncovers something of the sense of creative art... Theory and technology determine correct or incorrect approaches and procedures in restoration activity, but they cannot represent the important of the knowledge of the internal possibilities of the creative artist and the restorer, his ethic and moral experience. All knowledge developed by repeated recognition is experience in the truest meaning of the word, in other words the path which culminates in abiding knowledge. It again brings us up against the problem of practice – and here we can learn something from Aristotle, who does not form the concept of practice in opposition to »TEORIA«, but in opposition to »SKILL« in preparation. If we perceive this Aristotleian theme as the difference between »TECHNÉ«, which is the knowledge by which the art of preparation is governed, and »FRONÉSIS«, which is the knowledge governing practice, then we are forced to admit that practice does not mean merely acting according to certain rules and applications of knowledge, but also the overall professional attitude to the world.«

Petr Siegl, President of the Association of Restorers