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Uffizi art conservator brushes up Taiwan's temples

Western expertise draws attention to cultural value of temple paintings

Art conservator Tsai Shun-jen carries out restoration work in a Taiwanese temple. He returned to Taiwan in 2012 after being trained in art restoration in Italy. (Courtesy of TSJ Art Restoration)

TAIPEI -- For nearly 10 years, Taiwanese art conservator Tsai Shun-jen honed his skills in some of the West's greatest museums, including the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, with its priceless collection of Renaissance masterpieces by painters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.

That decade of experience helped to make Tsai Taiwan's best-known conservator in 2015, when he was chosen to restore "Flowers," by the 17th-century Italian artist Paolo Porpora, after a 12-year-old boy accidentally tore a hole in painting (then valued at $1.5 million) during an exhibition in Taipei.

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