The Guardian records the resignations of two leading French authorities on painting and restoration from the advisory board of the Louvre. The two renegades are protesting what they see as the over-cleaning of Leonardo’s The Virgin and Child with St. Anne (above):
Two of France’s top art experts have voiced their protest over the cleaning of The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne – a jewel of western art – by resigning from the Paris museum’s advisory committee responsible for its “restoration”, the Guardian has learned.
Such was their concern for the 500-year-old painting that Ségolène Bergeon Langle and Jean-Pierre Cuzin – eminent former specialists in conservation and painting respectively at the Louvre – could no longer associate themselves with its treatment.
Bergeon Langle is regarded as France’s national authority on the art and the science of restoring paintings. She was director of conservation for all of France’s national museums. […]
a senior museum source said the experts believed the restoration had gone too far, and that steps had gone ahead without adequate tests. The restoration has divided the committee between those who believe the painting is now too bright and those who regard the cleaning as moderate. There were also disputes over whether an area dismissed as removable repaint was in fact a glaze applied by Leonardo.