The icon must live because it represents eternal life. It is not just a piece of art or interior design: it depicts the Savior, the Mother of God, the saints or this or that Gospel story. They are not just depicted, but rather are revealed through the iconographic images. Even the most decrepit icon, with a centuries-old touch of history in the form of large damages or cracks, with crumbling ground, carries in itself the presence of Divine eternity in iconography.
The task of restorers is to preserve these images, to bring them to their proper appearance, not only as artistic and historical treasures, but also as objects of the Church that convey her spirit. Today, a lot of new icons are being painted, and not as much attention is paid to keeping them in proper condition and preserving them from the destruction of old icons as required. In addition, many old icons require restoration and renovation of the images... Museums restore ancient paintings and preserve them in proper conditions, but mostly as objects of cultural heritage. Today, the not-so-numerous church museums are trying to reach the top quality level. However, old icons in churches and houses of believers often fall into unprofessional hands, and instead of preserving the iconographic image, they are sometimes damaged.
The specialists of the Prohram Studio always start working on each painting with great attention and reverence. Before starting the work, the restorer studies the board with the painting as to its authorship, technique, degree of preservation, temporal layers, and damage to the board itself. They determine the time when the icon was painted and the school of painting and then pick up similar samples of the corresponding period. The restorers make a step-by-step plan of the restoration work. All stages from studying to practical actions are marked in special diaries and accompanied by photographing. You can read more about the work stages in the Process tab.
It should be noted that not only old images, but also icons that are more than a few decades old require careful care, preventive treatment and sometimes even small-scale restoration.
Restoration of an iconographic image is at the same time not just the work with the object of church art, but also a symbol of preservation, continuity and restoration of both lost sacred objects and the authentic Orthodox spirit of the Church, which is passed on from one century to another. The respect for the icons is the criterion of our Christian conscience.