HELENA NIKKANEN is Painting Restorer and Finnish citizen, but has since her retirement mainly been living in Egypt, where she is supervising young Egyptian nuns in Coptic icon painting and work with conservation of Coptic art in the ancient Orthodox monasteries in the region of Wadi el Natrun. She is specialized in Icon painting on panel, wall and canvas and has from 1984 until 2008 in addition been lecturing in the Department of Conservation Studies in Helsinki, Finland. Between 1970-71 and 1973-74 she studied conservation of icons in the Department of icon conservation at the State Russian Museum in Leningrad. This was from 1974 to 1978 followed by studies at the prestigious Istituto Centrale del Restauro in Rome, where she 1978 got Diploma of Art Conservation. 1980 she received ”Grade cum Laude” in Art History at Helsinki University. 1981-82 she got special training in the Department of icon conservation in the National Museum in Belgrade and 1992-93 she also specialized herself in polychrome sculpture at Istituto Centrale del Restauro in Rome. She has, since 1978 been Art Conservator in the Orthodox Church in Finland and was between 1990 and 2010 the Head Conservator of The Valamo Art Conservation Institute. She is member of ICOM and was from 1999 to 2001, assistant coordinator in the Icon research area, ICOM-CC, as well as member of IIC (International Institute of Conservation) and is fellow here since 1997.
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