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Lviv Polytechnic National University, Department of Architecture and Conservation

Today the Department of Architecture and Restoration of Lviv Polytechnic National University conducts training of art restorers at educational and qualification levels: bachelor's and master's degrees. The scientific direction of the department - "development of the theory and practice of regeneration and reconstruction of historical urban complexes and restoration of architectural objects and works of art" is aimed at solving scientific problems in two branches - architectural and artistic. As for restoration, the main focus is stone restoration. The emergence of such a specialty was due to the great needs of specialists in this profile in cities and towns of Western Ukraine, which boast a large number of monuments - houses, town halls, palaces and castles, sacred structures, as well as figures, sculptures, fountains, memorial signs , cemetery plastic. As for stone, this term is interpreted very broadly - we work with both natural stone and artificial stone. This includes a very wide range of materials - from artificial marbles that have been widely used in interiors since the Renaissance, ceramics, gypsum, and all kinds of cement and concrete. Each of these materials left a mark on the art and architecture of Lviv. All of these materials are very different, with their own characteristics, properties and problems. Every piece of art, like every material, is completely individual, unique, different, and therefore requires a separate approach and their restoration requires difficult decisions and each time poses challenges.

In the diploma works performed at the Department of Architecture and Restoration of Lviv Polytechnic National University, limestone is the most widely used as the most used in our region, rarely sandstone. Sometimes it is possible to work with such stone as alabaster - elegant and delicate, which is not very common in both architecture and museum collections of Lviv. Particularly spectacular are the sculptural monuments. This is, for example, a sculpture of  putti from the Pidhirtsi castle gardening complex, two figures of worshiping angels from the stairs of the St. Anthony church in Lviv and a sculpture of St. Anthony of Padua with a baby Jesus in his arms from the city of Buchach.  Examples of memorial cemetery plastic are also a kind of sculpture. No less spectacular may be the architectural details.

Each piece of art is unique. No two are the same. And perhaps this uniqueness is a common feature of works of art.

Concerning the challenges of restoration, perhaps the most difficult, the biggest and the first is the conceptual decision about what we do - restoration or conservation. Search for arguments and defend your chosen position. A good answer might be to make a copy. And already on copies of performance of all additions and reconstructions with which the restorer wants to design, or which the customer wants to see. A similar option is to perform graphical reconstruction. This is the paths we often choose in our thesis. It has been tried and tested and gives absolutely positive results. Another challenge that is encountered many times is the choice of technologies and materials to be made at each stage of restoration work - this is cleaning, and strengthening, bonding, additions, etc. This choice is underpinned by extensive research. Good choice is evidenced by a positive result. This is the result we can see in the works described and illustrated above.

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