Milena Gigante, born in Terlizzi (Bari) in 1978, graduated at the University of Pisa in Cultural Heritage Conservation. She specializes in restoration and conservation processes, and in 2004 she started working in Milan as a textile,
Restauration and Conservation
tapestry and carpet restorer for Open Care – Servizi per l’arte (Art services), a renowned company offering all-around restoration, management and promotional services for artworks and collections. Milena took part in numerous restoration and conservation works: most notably, the intervention on the embroidered piece commonly identified as the shroud belonging to Cardinal Branda Castiglioni, placed on his face upon his death in February 1443, and now displayed at the Museo della Collegiata in Castiglione Olona. The value of her restorative work didn’t end with the restoration of the delicate embroidery itself, now fully appreciable in all its value, but the fact that the veil became part of this prestigious exhibition helped Italian researchers shed light on an artwork hitherto neglected by scholars, for it was almost unknown even within the vast literature concerning Castiglione Olona’s treasures.
It’s important to point out that Milena, like the other restorers working for Open Care, is a professional restorer certified by the Cultural Heritage Ministry and continuously refines her skills taking part in refresher courses held by accredited institutions, both in Italy and abroad. In 2011 she became technical director of Open Care’s textile restoration department, which constantly cooperates with museums, superintendencies, public institutions, organizations and private collectors, protecting, preserving, storing and staging textile artefacts for exhibitions.