The General Administration Department of the Central Office of the Indian Overseas Bank, 763, Annasalai, Chennai-600 002 outsourced the conservation and restoration of the ten oil paintings executed by the Mumbai based artist, Ms. B. Prabha and one oil painting of the Founder Chairman, Mr. M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettiar by an unknown artist in Chennai to M/s. Hepzibah Institute of Heritage Conservation, 21, V.O.C. Street, M. G. R. Nagar, Chennai-600 078 headed by Dr. V. Jeyaraj, former Curator of the Chemical Conservation and Research Laboratory of the Government Museum, Chennai-600 008 and the Director of the Hepzibah Institute of Heritage Conservation. The paintings were found to have accumulated dust and looked very dull, cracked and flaked at many places. Some had been affected by fungi. Due to the loss of the keys in the stretcher frames the paintings had been buckled. Mostly the damages are due to environmental problems. As the air conditioners are operated only during office timings, the damages are many and the maintenance was also found to be very difficult.

Some of the paintings are palette knife works and they posed a lot of problems in providing support with mastic resin and beeswax in the ratio 1:3 and also BEEVA B 72. Therefore a seasoned canvas was given as support to the original canvas without any adhesive. In order to avoid dust accumulation, all the paintings were given backing. The paintings were redisplayed in the Indian Overseas Bank Central Office premises. This work took four months the completion with the help of conservators and restorers. The work was monitored by an Expert Committee of Conservators and Artists and two Expert Committee Meetings were conducted one at the beginning of the project and the other towards the end of the project. The IOB Officials requested the Hepzibah Institute of Heritage Conservation to provide an Annual Maintenance Contract for the upkeep of the paintings.

 

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