The Laboratory constantly invests in the most diverse cultural and professional resources for the development of new forms of participatory learning and for the training of restorers open to cultural diversity and mutual exchange: a professional figure who therefore works as a “cultural mediator”, able to interact with the indigenous communities of reference, involving them in conservation decision-making processes.
Since 2005 the Laboratory has deepened its knowledge of lacquer with the participation of Stefania Pandozy, director of the Laboratory, in the ICCROM course held in Tokyo, Urushi 2005. International Course on Conservation of Japanese Lacquer. Subsequently, in collaboration with the Vatican Museums Diagnostic Laboratory for Conservation and Restoration, preliminary studies, procedures and restoration works on various items in lacquer were carried out, and a study was undertaken on the various decorative techniques of the objects in the Japanese collection. In 2013, the Laboratory participated in the International Asian Lacquer Symposium held in Buffalo; the RAdICAL workshop organised by the Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles in the C2RMF laboratories of the Louvre; and the workshop on Japanese conservation methods held in Cologne by the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo. In March 2013 a visit was organised at the original site of an important artefact, the missal cover of Christopher Columbus, displayed at the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales in Havana. The trip to Cuba was for all the restorers a great opportunities for professional exchange with the restoration laboratories of the Gabinete de Conservación y Restauración (Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana), enabling the Vatican Museums to further deepen the interdisciplinary cooperation and dialogue with those working for more than thirty years on a major project for of urban historical and artistic redevelopment of the old city of Havana.
However, in the many cases of materials and cultures still little known in the West, the Laboratory considered it useful for the study to form part of a wider debate able to involve the international scientific community. In 2011, 2012 and 2014 three editions of the Sharing Conservation conference were organised to stimulate exchange between restoration laboratories from around the world involved in the conservation of items of ethnological interest.
Educational courses are being planned for young people holding diplomas from Italian or foreign restoration schools. Internships lasting for a maximum of six months are available to a variable number of participants on the basis of projects and availability.
(infostage.musei@scv.va)