Beauty Will Save the World But First, Kentavr Restorers Must Save Beauty

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Kentavr specialists restore paintings and icons for museums in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region with a focus on easel oil paintings, murals, and ceiling frescoes in palaces and park pavilions. Yuri Shablykin is a well-known St. Petersburg artist working for Kentavr. In 1955 he graduated from the Mukhina Art and Industry School, where he had been taught by G. Savinov, I. Stepashkin and L. Ostrova. He began exhibiting his art a year later. In 1960, at the age of 28, he joined the Leningrad Region branch of the Artists Union. Shablykins personal exhibitions were held in Leningrad in 1976, and in Nyandom in 1986. His art is on display at the National Russian Museum, as well as many other museums and private collections in Russia and abroad. Yuri Shablykin is a 1st-class restoration artist. He has restored murals at the Tavrichesky Palace, the first Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Hermitage. Shablykin has also revived easel art by Murillo, Brueghel, Renoir, and many other Old Masters. Yuri Shablykins disciple and partner, Marina Sarkisian, 2nd class restorer specializing in easel art, is no less famous in St. Petersburgs art community. The restoration work carried out by Kentavr includes base mending and conservation, primer and paint strengthening, removal of later inscriptions and renovation traces, and reinstatement of lost fragments. As all the landmarks and artworks restored by Kentavr have exceptional architectural and artistic value, and are protected by the state, meticulous stage by stage documentary record is kept of the restoration process, including photographs. Cherished by Kentavr restorers, the trade secrets and techniques developed by many generations of St. Petersburg restoration artists make it possible to bring back even badly damaged or nearly lost masterpieces of 18th to 20th century art with utmost precision and authenticity, and to resuscitate murals and decorations from old photographs. The artists accomplishments bear evidence to their superb skills. Some of the major restoration projects completed to date by Yuri Shablykin and his apprentices are: Restoration of oil easel art and icons: 1955-1959 the National Hermitage Restoration of Soviet easel art, 18th to 20th century portraiture; restoration and revitalization of murals: 1964 the National Culture Agency, 40 Nevsky Prospect 1965 the Grand Hall, Tavrichesky Palace 1968 Susor Mansion, 3 Volkovsky Pereulok 19701973 the Blue Hall of the former church of the Finnish Regiment, currently Ordzhonikdze Convention Center 19731974 The first Russian Academy of Sciences at Syezdovskaya Line 19871994 the Pavilion of Roses in Pavlovsk (under the supervision of Leonid Lubimov, Art Academy Gold Medal winner). As St. Petersburg primes itself for its 300th anniversary in May 2003, the city is being cleaned and many of its historical landmarks are being renovated. This time, as always, renovation funding is being allocated very selectively, and many landmarks badly needing restoration have been neglected by the authorities. One example are the murals of the Synod and Senate building, which are in pitifully bad condition. This is especially true about federal landmarks, which are supposed to be restored at the federal governments expense. Kentavr, established in 1994, joined the Restoration Artists Union of St. Petersburg in the summer of 2002, and obtained a license from the National Landmark Preservation Agency to conduct restoration work on historical properties of local and national significance. The Gonzago Gallery in Pavlovsk is falling apart, said Armen Sarkisian, Kentavr General Director, Its unique, breathtaking murals are almost gone. In a couple of years they will be irretrievably lost. It is to be hoped that the federal government, as well as investors and arts patrons around the world will help salvage the treasure-troves of art in St. Petersburg and its suburbs. Kentavr restoration wizards are ready to take care of the hands-on part of the process Kentavr Ltd. 90 Fontanka Embankment, Bldg. 1, Suite 311, 191180 St. Petersburg, Russia Tel/Fax: (812) 113-1915 Tel. 310-2757, 8 (921) 306-7598

: 12.11.2002
Irina Toldova
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