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The ASSOCIATION OF THE HUNGARIAN RESTORERS is the professional association and interest representation of qualified restorers who hold a degree in conservation and work in the field of the protection of cultural property. The association was registered among the social organisations under the number of 4427 and the name of CHAMBER OF HUNGARIAN RESTORERS by the Metropolitan Court in 1992 based on the (1) paragraph of 15 § of XI Act of 1989. The (1) paragraph of 79 § of XVI Act of 1994 on Chambers of Economy obliged the organization to change its name. Since March 1997 the name of the Association has been the Association of Hungarian Restorers.

The OPERATION of the Association is based both on the guidelines developed while practising the profession and on guidelines recognized and published by national and international professional associations, considering the legislation in Hungary. It aims at developing and supporting the profession of conservation/ restoration at a practical, scientific and cultural level. The Association seeks to promote and instigate a high level of education and the official recognition of the profession that meets the highest ethical requirements. It has prepared the Professional Guidelines and continuously publishes the list of members grouped according to field of specialization, guaranteeing equal chances for both professionals and those in need of a their high quality artistic service. The Association represents around 400 members, who accept the guidelines of and respect for the preservation of the cultural heritage in every field of their work, including preservation, examination, documentation, carrying out any treatment as well as education and professional advice.

RESTORATION is not a profession protected by law, in contrast with the pursuit of most professions. Not only those can carry out restoration who received education in the field and can prove it accordingly, but, at present, anybody may work in restoration, consequently, may use the title of being a restorer causing irremediable damages on cultural heritage. The term cultural heritage covers all categories of objects, written and figurative representations, works of art and collections which represent irreplaceable cultural and historical value. The documentary value of these objects provides basis for research in the history of art, ethnography, ethnography and other sciences, therefore, it is essential that the authenticity and genuine nature of these objects be preserved for future generations.

In the persuit of the effective protection of CULTURAL HERITAGE the Association has urged on the legal definition and recognition of the profession. The Association developed and defined the requirements of education and the Code of Ethics so that the generally accepted guidelines can provide protection for the pursuit of the restorer profession. The pursuit of out objectives was backed on 19th June 2001 when the Parliament accepted the Law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage, that covers every single element of cultural property: archaeology, protection of monuments and objects. The decree 16/2001. (X.18) NKÖM on the enforcement describes for the Office for Cultural Property Protection the procedure of concession in detail, so it has became necessary to certify the entitlement before carrying out any kind of conservation treatment.

The RULES AND REGULATIONS of the Association established strict admission requirements, with which it distincts itself from the amateurs, the casual restorers, as well as, the misuse of technical and industrial authorities in the field of restoration. In case the applicant accepts the guidelines of the Restorers’ Code of Ethics and proves the existence of the personal requirement necessary for practising the profession, and his/her qualifications (and his/her abilities concerning the profession), his/her admission and registration is without let or hindrance. Qualifications which are regarded to fulfill the requirements are degrees in restoration obtained primarily at the Restoration Institute of the Academy of Fine Arts in Hungary or at one of its legal predecessor, and at the departments of the equivalent foreign institutes. Experts actively participating in education and research in connection with restoration may also get admission. Members are grouped in four fields according to their specialization, but any member can belong to more than one group according to his/her training background or professional activity.

The OBJECTIVE of our Association is to define the characteristics of the profession based on the principles of art, craftsmanship, humanities and natural sciences so that it can be unequivocally demarcated from the related activities.

The DISTINCTION is based on the concept of the preservation and restoration of the cultural heritage. Its essence is that, in contrast with, technical experts and craftsmen employed in the field of the protection of works of art and historic monuments, the restorer does not create a new cultural object. Restoration takes place in case the applied treatments do not interfere with or alter the genuine nature and authenticity of the work of art, that is the original materials cannot be replaced, as opposed to the architectural reconstruction, where due to the demands of its use, several original materials can be replaced. If the aim is to preserve the authenticity of a work of art, the decisions concerning the treatment of its materials and what qualifications are needed of the expert to carry out the work should fall within the competence of a qualified and experienced restorer.

The authentic preservation, examination, conservation, restoration of our CULTURAL HERITAGE and the documentation of the processes is a complex, scientifically defined, methodologically elaborated and responsible task which presents high ethical requirements. For that reason, graduate restorers authorized for independent work by their degree, who work in the field of the protection of the cultural heritage are committed to undertake responsibility for handling and preserving the works of art appropriately. Due to the tasks of enforcing historical and scientific measures, preserving authenticity, planning and carrying out the treatments, the restorer is burdened with such a responsibility that he/she cannot undertake alone. For that reason, his/her work must be practiced in observance, that is, the process should involve and accept the cooperation of restorers and experts of other related fields, such as historians, curators, archeologists, ethnographers, other scientific experts, etc.

The COOPERATION is to serve the interests of cultural property, consequently, being superior or inferior is preposterous. Professionals participating in the restoration share responsibility towards the customer, as well as, the society, which is based on mutual respect and trust and can be realized through responsible dialogues. All things considered, the work of all those participating in the restoration aims at preserving and authentically presenting the cultural heritage to the public, acknowledging the right of the society to use it appropriately and respectfully.

The MODERN RESTORATION uses the results of the examination carried out on cultural property to be treated, that is, it describes and evaluates the analyses, perceptions concerning it in each of its historical age, the material characteristics (including the historical aspects of the use of its materials), its aging, its deterioration and the causes of that. It is only this way that the applied treatment can preserve the physical integrity of the object and may convey its meaning. This approach increases the restorer’s skills to unfold the information coded in the work of art, through which he/she gains new knowledge.

WE WISH TO ACHIEVE that professionals participating in the safeguarding of our cultural heritage work along commonly accepted guidelines, that is, the owners of the work of art, the experts concerned with the protection of the cultural heritage and the restorers, themselves are to behave uniformly. The requirements to be met are outlined in the Restorers’ Code of Ethics. The aim of the Code is to make those principles public which help the practising professionals to make the proper decisions, and to assure owners and legal custodians that the restorers undertake the responsibility of their profession.