BBC2 ‘Restoration Roadshow’ 2014

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BBC 2′s Restoration Roadshow is on TV again, not only in the UK but in France too!

There is a wealth of televisual material in Conservation and despite being called the ‘Restoration Roadshow‘ – the alliteration being somewhat sonorous – hopefully the attempts made to promote the benefits of Conservation did/do shine through.

Today I received an email from the agency that purports to promote Conservation and of which I am a member – ICON – and that was of a ‘Consortium‘  wishing to promote ‘Craft skills‘ in ‘England‘. The idea that ICON should send this out without a thought to what it is they might be promoting is not surprising. ICON interprets it as potential advertising for whatever it is ICON sells.

I for one (actually I know I am not alone) am not sure what that is anymore.

We are not Craft practitioners.

Well, those of us who have undertaken formal CONSERVATION Training do not consider ourselves craft workers. There is nothing wrong with craft workers at all, I love arts and crafts and personally support them in many ways that has absolutely nothing to do with my being a Conservator, anymore than it would if I were a Lawyer, Nurse, Teacher or Politician for example.

(Not sure why ‘England’ is identified as the sole market in this case either but that is another argument for those promoting these wares to (re)consider).

Once again I ask why ICON cannot get its head around the idea of how to become a real ‘Profession’ and why Conservators & ever more so, the OBJECTS in our care continue to suffer because ICON is more concerned in its administration of the office than of the work of members who support that self same office.

Why would a Conservation studio want to open its doors to tours from Craft skill groups? If ICON could list the reasons why then maybe they would like to organise group tours around the offices of solicitors, hospitals and the Houses of Parliament to promote the work of Conservators.

In the meantime ‘Restoration Roadshow’ plays on BBC 2 and the Conservators that really do a great job taking care of business stand aghast at how increasingly little ICON cares about that self same business.

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About Lucia Scalisi

Conservator of Paintings working in London and on Conservation projects and training abroad. Formerly Senior Conservator of Paintings,Victoria & Albert Museum and BBC2's 20 part series 'Restoration Roadshow'. Accredited Conservator; FIIC; Dip Cons; B.Ed.