The award goes to support restoration and conservation projects at each institution.
At the MNAA it will enable the conservation of Capela das Albertas, the oldest part of the Palácio Alvor which houses the museum. An example of a Portuguese ‘gold church’, the chapel features simple exterior architecture and a sumptuous interior. It was originally a female chapel of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites and is decorated with tiles from different periods of production from the 16th – 18th centuries.
At the MFA, the award goes towards the restoration of Portrait of a Woman with a Gold Chain by Rembrandt van Rijn, one half of a pair of oval paintings gifted to the museum in the late 19th century.
Though the work is structurally stable, the paint has not had any treatment for around 50 years and there are multiple uneven layers of varnish and passages of clumsy retouching which have obscured the paint surface.
Set up in 2012, the restoration fund is one of a number of initiatives run by TEFAF that supports and protects cultural heritage. Museums and institutions are eligible to apply for the grants, awarded by an independent panel of experts, once its representatives have attended TEFAF Maastricht.
The next Maastricht fair is from March 8-18.