In the early 1990s, a group of restoration specialists was working on the restoration and conservation of Josef Váchal’s wall paintings decorating the home of the printer and publisher of fine books, Josef Portman, which had been bought from the National Gallery in Prague by the publisher Ladislav Horáček. This was when the first idea of setting up an interdisciplinary
apprenticeship centre came up. From informal discussions concerning restoration practices it was obvious that the growing demand for specialists working in various fields of restoration, as well as for those working in the care of monuments, archives and library collections would have to be met.
There were no doubts whatsoever, that such a school should be based in Litomyšl, thanks to that town’s traditions, cultural ambience, beautiful architecture, vast range of priceless monuments, and its century-old tradition of education. Its creation would, however, not have been possible without the enlightened and generous support – and courage – of the town council led by its then Mayor, Ing. Miroslav Brýdl. And thus, the School of Restoration and Conservation Techniques was founded in Litomyšl in 1993 as an institute of tertiary education.
It was established by the Nadace Paseka foundation set up by the above-mentioned Ladislav Horáček. After meeting all the legal requirements, it was incorporated into the system of specialised tertiary education institutions in 1996 and in the autumn of the same year, under the title of Higher-education Institute of Restoration and Conservation Techniques, the school gained the status of a public service company (o.p.s.). Two study fields Restoration and Conservation of Stone and Related Materials and Restoration and Conservation of Wall Painting and Sgraffito have been offered since 1993. In 1994 a new study field – Restoration and Conservation of Paper, Bookbinding and Documents – has been added. The study period was extended to three and a half years and graduates were awarded the title of DiS – specialist with a diploma.
In 2000, after recognition by the Czech Ministry of Education, the school was given permission to establish the university level Institute of Restoration and Conservation Techniques Litomyšl
o.p.s. The academic year 2000–2001 commenced with Bachelor’s degree programmes in the three above-mentioned study fields, that have been broadened by a newly accredited one –
Restoration and Conservation of Artwork on Paper and Related Materials in 2003.
In 2005 the Institute of Restoration and Conservation Techniques Litomyšl o.p.s. joined the University of Pardubice as its fifth faculty, the Faculty of Restoration. In 2007 the Faculty acquired accreditation for a follow-up Master’s degree study programme, which commenced the academic year 2008–2009 in two specializations: Restoration and Conservation of Wall Paintings, Sculpture Works and Architecture Surfaces and Restoration and Conservation of Written Works of Art. Thus the Faculty of Restoration is one of such schools providing tertiary education for restorers both in four-year bachelor and two-year master programme.