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The Centro develops and conducts documentation and valorisation activities for archive and book collections of particular significance for the conservation and restoration of cultural heritage.
Through specific resorting and cataloguing projects, it has acquired various archives concerned with contemporary art and the history of restoration, with the aim of making this wealth of sources available to researchers.
The “Martano Archive” collection kept at the Centro brings together documentary and photographic material regarding the exhibitions organised by the Gallery between 1965 and 2013. The largest part of the collection consists of photographic prints, slides and negatives, other printed material and manuscripts.
Acquired in 2017 originally to catalogue the documents and digitalise the photographs, the collection is now kept at the Centro’s library: the materials have been uploaded to a digital platform accessible to a wider public of academics and enthusiasts.
The library collection consists of approximately 5,000 volumes donated by Liliana Dematteis to the Centro’s Library in 2013, after the gallery closed: in addition to the books, from 1930-2013, the collection includes brochures, postcards and invites, magazines and periodicals, photocopies, notes and miscellaneous papers.
Pinin Brambilla Barcilon is one of the most important restorers of the 20th century, known the world over for having directed the restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan, and for works on many of the major masterpieces of Italian art.
The archive consists of the documentation (mostly photographic) produced by Pinin Brambilla Barcilon throughout her career as restorer (1954-2016). The papers were kept at her Workshop in Milan until June 2017, when they were moved to the Centro Conservazione e Restauro "La Venaria Reale", with the support of Ra.Mo S.p.A.
After completing the census, the collection was found to comprise more than 50,000 phototypes, in addition to reports, scientific analyses, notes and materials regarding her studies.
The archive is an extraordinary heritage of information and documentation on the history of restoration in Italy from the 1950s to the present day.
The sorting, cataloguing and treatment of the documentary material is still in progress. After this phase of the works, the materials will be made available to academics, in accordance with their particular conservation requirements.