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Students of architecture from the University of Venice join The Friends' working party at Teplice nad Metují

VeniceStudentTepliceSept2023 cPJThe Friends of Czech Heritage have contributed over the past two years to an important initiative named ‘On the surface’, which was in instigated in 2021 by ‘1st Framework’, The Friends of Czech Heritage, The Gem Awards and the University of Venice Architecture Department. This arose from a concern for the way surface finishes of historic buildings in Venice were being affected by neglect and the use of inappropriate materials.

In March 2022 the group held a symposium in Venice to consider possible courses of action.

During the symposium there were demonstrations of the application of lime plaster at the school of building in Padua it being impossible to obtain permission for such a workshop to take place within Venice itself. Students from Venice Architecture Department were encouraged to try their hand.

Working PartySept2023 cPJAs there was no possibility for students to gain practical experience in the use of lime plaster in Venice, The Friends of Czech Heritage offered places to students to join one of their volunteer working parties in the Czech Republic where the conditions were less onerous.

In September 2023 a volunteer working party took place at the Church of the Virgin Mary and Teplice nad Metují in Moravia, see left, which was attended by two students from the Unievrsity of Venice University. They were able to gain practical experience in the use of lime mortar, plaster and masonry under the guidance of a skilled master plasterer.

This initiative has been very successful and should be a catalyst for the future where students and other volunteers could under supervision contribute to saving what might otherwise be lost.

The ‘On the Surface’ team would like to pass on their thanks to The Friends of Czech Heritage for their very significant contribution in providing practical experience in craft skills, without which no training can be complete.

Images copyright FoCH

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