An insurance company recently paid me to drive 5 hours to double check the opinion of another art conservator on a fine art damage claim that occurred during shipping of an Old Master painting. The estimate by the other conservator for the restoration work on a 5 ft x 5 ft oil painting is $60,000.00! I would do it for almost a 10th of the price and make good money… and bring it back to pre-exisiting condition.
Infact, therein lies the devil (in the details). The $60,000 estimate included x rays and other analysis that they said were required prior to clean the painting (which wasn’t necessary.) They also wanted about 6 times the normal hours to clean the back of the painting, even if the task had been done by an intern (while required work, we could have done a comparable job for 1/6th the effort). The final touch up of the lost paint along the rips was a 10 hour job… not 80 hours! All work not only approved by the owner of the painting, he insisted that this firm do the work.
This is a story that makes me scratch my head.
Evaluation questions: Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
The Fine Art Conservation Lab website is http://www.fineartconservationlab.com
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