HC Deb 01 February 1971 vol 810 cc277-8W
Mr. Faulds

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if Her Majesty's Government will take steps to establish a National Institute for Fine Art Conservation, in view of the number of important paintings in this country which are in an accelerating state of deterioration due to neglect, improper cleaning and repair, and damage from central heating systems;

(2) if the Government will provide the necessary finance to national art galleries and museums to enable the training of sufficient picture restorers and scientists trained in preservation techniques, in view of the backlog of restoration and repair now outstanding in both national and municipal collections.

Mrs. Thatcher

Training in the conservation of works of art, and the question of establishing a central institute of con- servation, is at present being considered by the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries, and my noble Friend, the Paymaster-General, is awaiting their advice and recommendations.

As an interim measure, the conservation studios of the National Gallery, Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum undertake the training of small numbers of students in addition to the trainees needed for their own studios.