Accounts of trainees

My work placement within the Documentation department at IRPA allowed me to get to know the trends of the art history discipline in Belgium. I was in contact with the restoration milieu, which I had not yet had the opportunity to be in close contact with. I was also able to become more familiar with new work tools and to better understand the management of a databank such as IRPA's photo library. Eduardo Lamas Delgado, trainee within the documentation department between 2007 and 2008.

By joining the document department at IRPA, I was able to discover in depth Belgian art and culture. I came across the professional facet of the world of art history and I learnt how to control its scientific methods. I was able to understand how an institute of heritage management worked and become more familiar with the conservation-restoration world. My work placement at IRPA has taught me a great deal! Blanca Mateo Urdiales, trainee within the documentation department between 2006 and 2007.

Thanks to my work placement within IRPA's laboratories, I was able to expand my perspective on how to use my knowledge and know-how I acquired during my chemistry studies. It was an interesting way of putting theory into practice. Amandine Crabbé, trainee within the Laboratories department between 2006 and 2007.


After graduating from the Hogeschool in Antwerp, I lacked practical experience, and from that angle, my work placement at IRPA was, for me, the way to directly continue my training. For a year, I worked on different types of textiles, sometimes in collaboration with other colleagues, who were also restorers. That way, I was able to work both on tapestries or costumes and on liturgical and archaeological textiles.  My work placement allowed me to especially become familiar with the logic conservators and restorers have: the ethical reflection and the decisions one has to take are reassessed for each object that is studied. Then all the conservators discuss the decisions in depth. After my work placement, I was lucky to be able to work in the textile restoration workshop. My work placement opened new doors! Fanny Van Cleven, trainee within the textile restoration workshop between 2004 and 2005.