Volume 7, Number 2, May 1985, pp.11-12
Luis Monreal, 42, a native of Barcelona will move to Los Angeles this May from Paris to take charge of the J. Paul Getty Conservation Institute. Monreal, a former field archaeologist, museum director and university art professor, has since 1974 been the Secretary General of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
A news release from the Getty Trust quotes Monreal as saying, "For the first time in history, this institute can bring together specialists to conduct research and provide advanced training, which is severely lacking. My ambition will be to build a far- sighted program and to establish conservation strategies for the 21st century."
A three book study done for the Getty by the Rand Corporation and five academic researchers has just been completed. Titled Beyond Creating: A Place For Art in America's School, this project's purpose as described by the Center's Director Lani Lattin Duke "is to draw attention to the need for substantive visual arts programs in our schools."
Times Art Critic William Wilson quotes the report: "The nation's public schools have historically neglected art education." Two pervasive attitudes contribute to this neglect: "Instruction in the visual arts is not vital to a child's education and...not properly an educational activity." Lack of funds, lack of support from policy-makers and administrators, and lack of strong links between universities and public schools are cited as contributing factors.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a center for the study of the works of Leonardo da Vinci will be established at UCLA with a $1- million grant from Armand Hammer, the philanthropist, art patron and head of Occidental Petroleum Corp.
The gift provides for the establishment of the Armand Hammer chair in Leonardo studies as well as for an award for excellence in Leonardo studies to be given at least every other year beginning in 1986.
The Los Angeles Times reported on 25 February about new findings which indicate that contrary to a popular myth, Michelangelo did not paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back. Vatican Museum curator, Fabrizio Mancinelli, has discovered a design sketch by Michelangelo of the scaffolding. It warns the carpenters not to build so closely to the ceiling that he would have to crouch or lie down in order to paint. Restorers have also found holes in the walls of the chapel which held the scaffolding.
After four years of painstaking labor the cleaning of the Sistine Chapel walls and ceiling is one-third complete. Chief Vatican art restorer Gianluigi Colalucci and his two master restorer assistants, Maurizio Rossi and Pier Giorgio Bonetti have also revealed the artist's original vivid colors which have been obscured by dirt and by an 18th century mix of animal glue and fat intended to protect the frescoes. Following lengthy analysis restorers settled on a solvent called AB-57 which is named after the number of experiments required to arrive at the right formula by husband-wife team Laura and Paolo Mora of the Rome Institute for Restoration.
As of 1 May chloramine has been reintroduced as a purifier in public water systems in much of Southern California. The L.A. Times reported, "The shift from a more commonly used purifier, chlorine, to chloramine a mixture of chlorine and ammonia was ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency...to reduce the level of carcinogens formed when unmixed chlorine reacts with certain organic materials in water...Officials said that water treated with chloramine is safe to drink and often tastes better than water treated with unmixed chlorine. The danger, they said, is when water containing chloramine is used in kidney dialysis."