Italian painters bring colour to gallery

Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Italian artists Benedetta Proto and Emiliano Antonelli are in the country restoring paintings in the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s (NGZ) permanent collection, as well as bushman paintings at Domboshava caves.

The duo, who are in the country courtesy of the Italian Embassy, have already finished restoring two paintings which they worked on for two weeks.

The restored paintings are Giovanni Battista Caracciolo’s “David with Head of Goliath”, a 17th century oil on canvas piece with a carved leaf frame.
The painting was acquired in 1958.

The other painting is Stanisilas Victor Edouard Lepine’s “River Scene Moon Light”, a 17th century oil on canvas piece which was acquired by NGZ in 1965.
The pieces which were made 400 years ago had worn out.

Both paintings were presented to the gallery by Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Carlo Perrotta.
“I present to you two restored paintings,” he said.

“This programme is a continuation of our work with the people of Zimbabwe in different sectors, including art.”
As part of the project, five gallery employees have been roped in for training on how to restore old paintings.

NGZ director Doreen Sibanda said she was grateful for the continued Italian support and education rendered to her staff.
“I would like to thank the restorers and conservators; Emiliano Proto and Benedeta Antonelli, whom through their generous efforts, have dedicated to train our staff members on best practices in conservation through this initiative,” she said.

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