It may come as a surprise to see the devotion and passion Hiky Mayr shows when working on her exclusively Italian sculptures. During the restoration process, which requires a lot of patience, she breathes new life into the sculptures and thus makes them to living witnesses of the past and of old traditions.
This is not only the case when we are talking about the side of craftsmanship but she also brings to light the religious customs, most of all those in practice in Southern Italy.
Without Hiky Mayr’s commitment a very important part of the Italian cultural possessions would certainly have been lost for ever. In an extract from an interview we can read: „I have found these pieces of art when visiting antique markets. Most of them have been in very poor conditions. Therefore, I considered it necessary to look after the statues myself.
I put special emphasis on the authenticity of the materials and the iconography.
Even when making new clothes, which are sometimes necessary, I only use historical fabrics and church robes, which I find when visiting antique dealers. I then work them according to handed down traditions and with the help of historical models.
To be absolutely certain to be really using only original characteristics from the relevant past times I occasionally have to read a lot of books and ask the advice of experts.” In the book published by Franco Maria Ricci we can read about this research project.
Hiky Mayr hopes that other lovers of art and experts in this field will write further books to follow this first volume. To show how important it is to her to let others have part and give them access to this special field of art Mayr wanted to open a restoration laboratory in her museum.
There, short didactical courses should take place to provide in-depth studies into the teaching of the making of small Baby Jesus sculptures.