Filling In Blanks

Automating the restoration of a picture's missing pieces

12:40pm, May 6, 2002

Faced with a grime-encrusted, damaged painting, a conservator can spend many months restoring the artwork. It's often not enough to meticulously clean off dirt, remove discolored varnish, and repair torn, warped, or cracked canvas. Where paint has flaked away to expose bare spots, a conservator may need to fill in the ragged scars–a practice known as inpainting. This process is time-

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