The Fair "Restauro" (Salone dell'Arte del Restauro e della Conservazione dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali) is one of the most important annual events in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural and natural heritage in Europe. It was held in April 2010 for the seventeenth consecutive year in the Italian city of Ferrara , the pearl of Renaissance architecture, which has been recorded on the List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO. Italy has, by establishing this type of event, entirely dedicated to the restoration, conservation and protection of historical, artistic, architectural and natural heritage, emphasized its leading role on the international scene. This has also successfully connected economy and culture.
During the four-day event, the best known and most respected restoration institutions and companies in Italy and abroad, gathered in Fererra to present the results of their work since the last event. Ways of solving the most pressing problems, using innovative processes and new technologies are illustrated, and the results and progress of care on the most important reconstruction projects are discussed. Under the roof of the fair, in the six halls, there were also those who educate conservators and set standards in research methodology and preparation of documents, laboratories that perform testing, product manufacturers, restorers, craftsmen, contractors and other rehabilitation service providers. The most important area is awarded by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities of Italy (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali), which was received by "Restauro" for promotion and visibility of their work.
Thanks to the understanding and support of the Government of Vojvodina and the Provincial Secretariat for Culture, The Provincial Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments appeared at "RESTAURO" with an exhibition of its own conception, based on the presentation of the results of the research, preservation and presentation of cultural heritage. Also, we wanted to illuminate the multi-layered cultural heritage to be found in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and the results of partnership between business and the Gallery of Matice Srpske, Novi Sad.
Even as we approached the halls of the Fair, we became aware of the great importance of our participation, as the first representatives of Serbian Conservators! A motif from the wall paintings of the Sremski Karlovci Cathedral were among the few selected illustrations on promotional flags above the main entrance to the fair. Although we were well aware of the position of our stand, A4, near the entrance to Hall 3, we were, however, pleasantly surprised by the environment - we shared the audience's attention with exhibitors such as the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Museum of the Vatican, as well as the host ─ the City of Ferrara. Also, during the opening ceremony we received another welcome - a prominent motif from the Karlovci wall paintings was among the chosen kaleidoscopic presentation slides, which were "floating" on the walls, ceilings and floors of the ceremonial hall. The opening ceremony of the Fair was attended by the whole team of The Provincial Institute, headed by Zoran Vapa, Director, also present were Vera Pavlovic Lončarski, director of The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Belgrade and Jasna Zrnović, General Secretary of the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO.
So, during the four days of the fair,the stand with the name REPUBLICA DI SERBIA – REGIONE AUTONOMA DI VOJVODINA – Petrovaradin – SERBIA“, became a meeting place for those who wished to learn something new, or something about the cultural heritage of newcomers to the exhibition, their works and achievements. A monitor was set up at the stand, on which were projected spots: the cultural legacy of Vojvodina, presented chronologically and by type of cultural property, the Gallery of Matica Srpska, the monuments included in the project "Centuries of Bač." Besides topical, specially prepared leaflets, many publications of institutions responsible for protection from Serbia: monographs, professional and popular publications, as well as cds were handed out. In the reactions and questions from visitors we encountered a lack of knowledge of the basic geography and the heritage of our territory. Of course, we also met those well versed in heritage and modern trends of protection, as well as the circumstances in which we live. The most cordial meetings were with students and conservators from Serbia and the former Yugoslav republics.
Our colleagues from institutions for protection from Serbia and Republica Srpska came in an organized visit to the Fair. There was a technical multimedia presentation, in which spoke director Zoran Vapa and the project managers present at the stand: Svetlana Bakić, Slavica Vujović and Sava Stražmešterov. Authentic gourmet products from Vojvodina, the famous strudel with poppy seeds and walnuts, Kulen(spicy sausage) from Bački Petrovac and brandy from Selenča and Sremski Karlovci.
The first outing of representatives of cultural heritage protection services from Serbia to Italy's prestigious exhibition event "Restauro" can be considered a success, since the objectives were achieved, starting with project presentation and promotion of cultural heritage. The selection and presentation of heritage in the territory of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina has proven to be modern and harmonized with the Italian model of regional organizations and establishing specific cultural heritage. There was also significant interest in the cultural heritage of Mount Athos in Greece, which further helped the stand not only be noticed, but also visited. The fair was seen by over 30,000 visitors and, according to the organizers our stand was among the most dynamic and with the largest number of visitors.
Data on The Provincial Institute and Gallery of Matica Srpska was recorded in the exhibition catalogue, which helps these institutions become more visible in the international conservation arena. Many business contacts were made. We also took advantage of the opportunity to learn something new in the field of modern treatments and doctrine of the preservation of heritage.