25 days in Salvador de Bahía, in Brazil to discover its beauties, to meet an old friend and learn, giving our contribution.
Our project Nûna Moves was born with the intention and the desire of sharing our skills for free, as volunteers to be able to give a little contribution to the world's happiness, knowledge and openness.
Brazil was one of my first wishes, because not many know, but beyond the famous Brazilian Carnival, this wonderful State is also known for its various, multicultural and unique arts. Most of the artworks they have now in Brazil are pretty recent (XVI century), especially if we talk about Sacred Art.
Their Art and the way it mixes with different European, indigenous and African traditions make it very special.
One of the most known Department of Brazil renowned for this is Minas Gerais, that we will definitely visit in the next future.
Salvador is one the gems in the artistic environment, here the cultures explored many styles in the Sacred Art.
Brazilian have, in the last 20-30 years felt more and more drawn to the topic of conservation and restoration, as a need of valuing their patrimony.
The Sacred Art Museum of Salvador is a wonderful example. I had the beautiful opportunity to be part of the team restorer as a volunteer for a few weeks, thanks to my friend Claudia, the restoration department coordinator. And the experience was definitely beyond my expectations.
As an Italian Art Restorer (I had the luck to have had an education in Art restoration in Italy) I must say that this was one of the best experiences ever in my life.
The philosophy behind this wonderful team of talented restorers is simply to take care of the the artworks of the museum as they were all wonderful pieces of unique art. Sometimes you find a signature, sometimes not, and they are still extremely valuable pieces.
The care, the talent, the love and the complicity of this interesting team really touched me.
As an Italian I can say that, unfortunately this doesn't happen very often in the art world. Competition, nepotism, injustices are unfortunately too easy to meet. Lots of restorers have forgotten their noble intentions of their vocation in their job and often (and unconsciously) fight to win "the best" artwork.
In Italy, we often think we are the best in many areas, and restoration is one of them. Sometimes so proud of our skills we end up having for real the title of the "best" just for the nationality. This of course helped me many times in finding certain jobs. But I'd like to disprove this theory saying that I have seen the best paint restorers ever, here in Brazil. People that probably didn't have the chance to have the best brushes and the last, most technological tools. But seeing that talent, that love and eternal respect for an art piece created by patient and wise hands, brought me back to the passion for art that I have.
The Sacred Art Museum is a special place because is really taken care by all the workers there; from the gardener to the art director.
The museum is very rich in wonderful wooden painted sculptures, silver and golden sacred objects, canvas and via crucis characters.
The museum was a monastery from the XVII Century, restored in the 1958 and it's now part of the Universidade Federal da Bahia. The Museum has a wonderful cloister and a very well kept garden and the church is also a space for cultural events and weddings. Outside you can enjoy the stunning view of the infinite sea.
Just in these days one of the biggest Congress of Restoration - X CONGRESSO INTERNACIONAL DE IMAGINÁRIA BRASILEIRA CEIB has happened there, and restorers from many places of South America met to discuss new opportunities and exchange ideas in the sector.
If you have the chance to visit this city, remember these words and take your time to get lost in time in this gem on the way to Pelourinho. You will probably meet my sweet friend and roommate Niama restoring the altar in the church (she knows everything about that church!), and maybe Claudia walking around organizing events and new restoration projects.