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Byline: Jonathan Best
LAST NOVEMBER RENATE KANT, AN ACCLAIMED GERMAN ART CONSERVATOR AND RESTORER NOW BASED IN SINGAPORE, MADE A SHORT VISIT TO MANILA. SHE WAS INVITED HERE TO GIVE HER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE REGARDING SEVERAL IMPORTANT COLLECTIONS OF PAINTINGS, AND TO PRESENT A LECTURE ON FINE ART CONSERVATION FOR THE ASIA SOCIETY AT THE FILIPINAS HERITAGE LIBRARY. THIS WAS HER SECOND VISIT TO MANILA.
Despite her elegant demeanor and polite European charm, Kant is very much a hands-on conservator/restorer. She never hesitates to roll up her sleeves and tackle the termites, fungus, mold, rips, tears, flaking paint and damp storage rooms, which are the bane of all art collectors. This year she has had to expand to a much larger studio due to the increased demand for high quality art restoration in Southeast Asia.
Maintaining paintings and other works of art in a tropical climate is challenging and expensive. Kant carefully explained the basic rules …