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Goan becomes first Asian to win prestigious Lion award – Times of India profiles Sandesh Naik

times-of-india-bannerWe were delighted to see the article below in The Times of India on the 9th July. As is very often the case there are one or two items which have been misinterpreted – for instance Sandesh was one out of 2 million City & Guilds students around the world who studied a wide range of subjects, not just restoration. There are definitely not 2 million restorers / conservators in the world, even if we wish there might be!

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City & Guilds Outstanding Achiever of the Year 2017

sandesh-plus-presentersLondon’s iconic Kensington Roof Gardens was the setting for the prestigious ceremony this afternoon (June 15) to recognise individuals who have “overcome significant challenges” to achieve their goals and lecturers who have “gone the extra mile” to help their students achieve.

Dubbed as the “Oscars of skills education”, the Lion Awards marks the culmination of the Medals for Excellence awards programme, which dates back more than 100 years.

BBC breakfast and Celebrity MasterChef presenter Louise Minchin and managing director at City & Guilds Kirstie Donnelly hosted today’s ceremony.

Ms Donnelly said the “talent and commitment” shown by every one of this year’s nominees and winners in reaching for their goals “reflects exactly what the Lion Awards is all about”. “We, at City & Guilds, are honoured to have been a part of their journeys and delighted to have this opportunity to mark their achievements.”

Sandesh Naik picked up the award for outstanding achiever of the year – and Kirstie Donnelly commented that ‘It was so fabulous to hear the stories and there is no doubt Sandesh was the “winner” on a number of fronts’.

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Proper truancy

anjuna-bullWe all needed a change of scene and I thought a few hours in the Wednesday flea market in Anguna might amuse everybody. I think half of the Russian tourist population, most of the ‘crème de la crème’ Anglaise, and most of the local rastas were meandering in this market. Luckily it was such an entertaining mix of goods from all over India and Tibet that all enjoyed it and acquired the silliest objects possible including us.

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Changing places in hospital!

We called the hospital to find that Davinia is definitely better this morning, the doctor confirms she had food poisoning not a virus and would like to keep her until tonight. As I leave the house with Christopher he is sick and is feeling awful. I have the volunteers working in two different locations today so I drop Christopher in the hospital and pick up Venetia who has not really slept at all, but being a doctor I know she is used to going without sleep.

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Exciting visit from NSOJ

Today we had a visit from two journalism students Ipsita Kabiraj and Stephen Gershom together with Dipti Kumar, head of broadcast at the National School of Journalism in Bangalore. They came to spend two days with us filming and interviewing the students and volunteers on the work they are doing.

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Conservation – a real dilemma

When confronted with artwork that has been severely compromised by previous intervention, we are faced with careful planning and explanation of our own intervention as to what is necessary to preserve the work, and what is actually cosmetic restoration. This dilemma is what all conservators face when deciding what treatments are essential to the preservation and what is actual our arrogance in believing we need to recreate what is not there. Some often use their own initiative thinking recreating what they believe the work of art should look like.

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Beautiful countryside

caterina-and-king-sebastians-horseAnna is in charge today in The Archbishop’s Palace with Milena, Eveny and Manu all working on the portraits preparing for the reline and strip line of B4 and B8. All is discussed, prepared for the next day and hopefully if all goes well, Friday my day off we shall be back in Panjim relining. It is good to alternate from Panjim to Rachol as the paintings this year require major treatment and need to settle between procedures. The intense heat and humidity does not help, and we need to step back and discuss and re-examine what we do and how it behaves in this climate every inch of the way.

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Obstacle course

sheila-cleans-around-the-army We seemed to be hitting quite a few hurdles today. Joanna and Anna are not in top form thanks to a tummy bug, but as true Brits they come and start work before the others. It’s the last day for Sheila  – she has been incredibly efficient, precise and reliable with the difficult treatments, but most of all smiling and calm at all times especially when asked to remove six layers of varnish from one particular area on ‘King Sebastian’! She proceeded with great care and with a controlled series of gel solvents worked her way through in the most incredible heat and humidity.

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Half way through – but a long way to go

early-morning-at-the-archbishops-houseIt’s Monday morning and we are half way through our programme, and yet there is still so far to go. We arrive early at the Palace and I sneak into the garden to look at the birds that are happily eating the Archbishop’s papaya. One red whiskered bulbul, a white-cheeked barbet and a few others which I have not yet identified – although all common here they have such vibrant colours.

Inside the studio eight Archbishops await our attention.

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