Edited by The Getty Conservation Institute and Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura
Metodología para la Conservación de Retablos de Madera Policromada
The bulk of the publication is devoted to the case studies presented by each
participant at the Methodology for the Conservation of Polychromed Wooden Altarpieces workshop. Though still largely in the format developed for the workshop "notebook," some of these cases have been further elaborated to emphasize particular issues and concerns. The cases are presented in the order in which they were given at the workshop and represent a great diversity of material expression, cultural context and conservation approach. All illustrate the ever present challenge of reconciling theory with practice in complex physical and cultural environments.
As noted earlier, the workshop also included organized discussion sessions centered around three previously identified topics. The most salient points to emerge from these discussions have been synthesized into a chapter titled "Summary of the Debates". Emphasis is placed on the issues that had most resonance among participants, including the multiplicity of values represented by any altarpiece, the need for collaboration between conservation professionals
and local communities in making decisions about the care and conservation of retablos, and the importance of an approach that considers not just the object but its physical, social and cultural context.
Following this summary, the publication includes the entire text of the guideline
document entitled Documento de Retablos 2002
that sets out an agreed approach to the conservation and management of polychromed wooden altarpieces. Obviously, this document is not the last word on the subject. However, it is our hope that it will provide a useful starting point for both conservation professionals and communities charged with the stewardship of these extraordinary objects.