The GroupInstitute for Art and Restoration
  • Soffitto affrescato da Santi di Tito della Direzione dell'istituto
  • Facciata della sede storica dell'Istituto in Via Maggio, 13 a Firenze
  • Laboratorio di restauro pittorico
A Centre for Excellence in Conservation and Restoration

The Institute for Art and Restoration was founded on 26 September 1976 and operates as a centre for specialisation and professional training in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural heritage worldwide. It is also a consultancy and restoration centre for public authorities and private companies.

The experience gained from over 40 years of activities, with more than 4800 postgraduate programs, more than 7500 graduate students and 18000 restorations, defines the Institute for Art and Restoration as a centre of excellence in the industry. It is both nationally and internationally able to offer professional training for the needs of the labour market, constantly updated with the latest technologies and philosophies of intervention.

Since 1978, students from all over the world have been trained in the Institute's laboratories and workshops and many more have attended short courses on introductions to different techniques and continuous professional development. Thes extensive activities have contributed to strengthening Florence's image as a "world capital of art and restoration". 


The Institute is accredited by the Regione Toscana (Regional Public Authority) with Decree no.1722 of 25 March 2003, in accordance with the national law 845 of 21, December 1978. The Institute received recognition for the restoration courses in 1980. This recognition is validated by the Province of Florence in accordance with Article 17 paragraph 1 letter b of the LR 32/2002. 


The Institute works globally for the protection of the world cultural heritage through the promotion and management of initiatives based on the study, conservation, restoration and enhancement of historical and artistic heritage, and through projects carried out in collaboration with public and private entities, with the European Commission, UNESCO and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Institute works through a framework of agreements of Scientific, Technological and Cultural cooperation undersigned with more than 60 governments worldwide.

The Institute has organised and managed projects, schools, seminars and conferences in Alexandria, Egypt, Amman, Athens, Barcelona, ​​Berlin, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, City of Mexico, Copenhagen, Krakow, Damascus, Granada, Cairo, Havana, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Monaco, Munich, Moscow, New York, Paris, Beijing, Prague, Riga, Rio de Janeiro, Tirana, Tokyo, Santiago, Shanghai, Sydney, Tallinn, Tripoli, Tunis, and Vilnius.

Thanks to these activities, and participation in international projects funded by the European Commission (Culture, Eumedis, Euromed Heritage, Formites, INCOMED, Info2000, Interreg, Leonardo, Life, Minerva, Raphael, Grundtvig, Leonardo da Vinci, ENPI, Erasmus, and others), the Institute has established an extensive network of collaboration and partnership that includes over 500 institutions in 100 countries.

Under the Patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, the Institute is an organiser and promoter of the traveling educational exhibition "Art on Art: an introduction to the techniques and restoration of paintings on canvas and wood". The exhibition, which is available on request, has already been hosted by museums, foundations, universities, the Italian Cultural Institutes, Italian Embassies and other public and private institutions. It has been mounted 86 times in Italy and in 24 other countries.

The Institute, chosen by the World of Work International Jubilee Committee, was the promoter and organiser the Jubilee of Craftsmen and Restorers (March 19, 2000), receiving the thanks of the Holy Father for the gift of paper restoration school to Ethiopia. 


Since its foundation, the Institute has joined major national and international networks and partnerships whose specific objective is the preservation of cultural and and environmental heritage all over the world.

In recent years the Institute's priorities have been brought in line with the wider European process of cultural development, aimed at overcoming the economic crisis and creating conditions for a more competitive (cultural) economy with a higher employment rate.

The Europe 2020 strategy is aimed at innovative growth, thanks to more effective investments in education, research and innovation; sustainable growth, thanks to the decisive shift in the economy aimed at protecting the environment; responsible growth, focused on creating jobs and reducing poverty.

The Institute is a member of the following organisations:

  • ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts), Amsterdam
  • Europa Nostra, the Netherlands
  • Anna Lindh Foundation, Egypt
  • FAI (Italian Environment Fund), Italy
  • FME (Fondation au Mérite Européen), Luxembourg
  • ICFAD (International Council of Fine Arts Deans), USA
  • SEMA (Société d'Encouragement aux Métiers d'Art), France
  • Infinite City, Italy
  • Associazione Partners Palazzo Strozzi (Honorary Member), Florence 

Quality System

The Institute has a quality assurance policy certified according to ISO 9001: 2008 to guarantee the sustainable and continuous improvement of business processes to stimulate changes within the organisation and continue to encourage cultural exchanges with the society in which it operates.

Restoration in Italy today

In Italy, restoration studies are regulated by the Ministerial Decree no. 86 of 26 May 2009, which defines the role of the restorer and other professional profiles that carry out activities complementary to restoration and conservation of cultural heritage, in accordance with article 29 clause 7 of the Code of Cultural and Landscape Heritage, legislative decree no. 42 of 22 January 2004.

The Decree 86/2009 defines the following roles:
Art. 1: Restorer (five-year degree)
Art. 2: Cultural Heritage and Restoration Technician - Collaborator Restorer (three-year degree)
Art. 3: Technicians with specific skills (one-year, two-year diploma or professional experience)
Art. 4: Scientific Experts (chemistry, physics, biology and geology degree)

These technicians work in a team with a project leader (qualified restorer) and a work supervisor (or architect restorer) under the surveillance of the specified public arts authority department.

The current three-year structure of the vocational courses at the Institute issues the qualification of Technician of Restoration of Cultural Heritage (Art. 2 of Ministerial Decree 86/2009).
A Technician of Restoration of Cultural Heritage (Assistant Conservator), is a professional who works with the restorer carrying out direct and indirect actions to limit the deterioration processes of works of cultural heritage, ensuring their preservation. Technicians have autonomous decision-making powers relating to their technical skillset and guarantee their own work according to the methodology outlined and directly managed by the restorer. Technicians are also responsible for their working environment, equipment, and preparation of materials needed for work. 

The above qualification, as issued by a region delegated by the Italian State, in accordance with the National Law n. 845 of 21 December 1978, is valid throughout Italy. The three-year degree is also valid throughout the European Union as issued in accordance with the General System of recognition, regulated with two general directives (89/48 / EEC and 92/51 / EEC), as amended by Directive 2001/19 / EC implemented by the State with Italian Legislative Decree no. 277 of 8 July 2003, Article 1, letter B.


An external agency compiled the following data below following a survey of 200 students from the period between 2010-2015.

Students in work after
completion of the course
Usefulness of the course
in the work place
Time lapsed between end of
course and employment
  Very useful
  Quite useful
  Not very useful
  6 months - 1 year
  < 6 months
  1 - 3 years
  > 3 years


Our Mission

"To contribute, through direct action and through the training of professionals, to education and a conscious use of the artistic and cultural heritage of humanity, developing governance models aimed at increasing a sense of belonging, interest, respect, and awareness of one's own and others' cultures".

Presentation Brochure
Institute for Art
and Restoration


  1. Training and Consulting
  2. Preservation and Restoration
  3. Historical Research and Documentation
  4. Cataloging and Archiving
  5. Diagnostics
  6. Designing restoration workshops
  7. Specialised Publications
  8. Exhibitions and Events
  9. Promotion and Internationalisation
  10. Fundraising

Restoration Departments

  1. Restoration of Paintings on Canvas and Wood
  2. Restoration of Frescoes and Wall Paintings
  3. Restoration of Archaeological Artefacts and Ceramics
  4. Restoration of Stone
  5. Restoration of Metals
  6. Restoration of Archival Material and Books
  7. Restoration of Paper and Parchment
  8. Restoration of Photographic, Film and Digital Material


  1. ELIA (European League of Institutes of the Arts), Amsterdam
  2. Europa Nostra, Netherlands
  3. Anna Lindh Foundation, Egypt
  4. FAI (Italian Environment Fund), Italy
  5. FME (Fondation au Mérite Européen), Luxembourg
  6. ICFAD (International Council of Fine Arts Deans), USA
  7. SEMA (Société d' Encouragement aux Métiers d'Art), France
  8. Città Infinite, Italy
  9. Associazione Partners Palazzo Strozzi (Honorary Member), Florence