Erich Pummer, Curriculum Vitae

Erich PummerErich PummerErich Pummer in Abu Simbel, Egypt 1986Erich Pummer in Abu Simbel, Egypt 1986

Erich Pummer was born in 1956 in Krems an der Donau, Austria. In 1976 he completed his education as a stone sculptor at the Höheren Technical College in Hallein, Salzburg. In the years between 1977–1982, he trained in stone conservation and preservation while working in the Federal Office for Conservation, Vienna – Arsenal, under Councilor Dr. Gertrude Tripp and Councilor Dr. Manfred Koller. At a time when no academic education in stone conservation existed, this was the premier opportunity to participate in the application, development and scientific work of conservation technologies.

In the meantime, he was able to deepen his specific knowledge by attending seminars and travelling around Austria, Germany (Mannheim), Italy (Padua) and Egypt (Abu Simbel).

After founding his studio in Rossatz, Wachau in 1982, the first employees were hired and conservation contracts on a range of prominent monuments all over Austria followed (Schönbrunn Palace, Melk Monastery, Dürnstein Monastery, Graz Arsenal, Schallaburg Castle, Zwetti Monastery etc.). In 1988 Erich Pummer passed the exam for Master of Stone Sculpture in Salzburg in order to enable the education of young restorers in his studio.

In 1993, the studio moved into a new building with modern technical equipment. Intensive development and investment in new cleansing methods and conservation technologies laser technologyvacuum technology were done. As a result of these innovations, the radius of activity expanded into the neighbouring countries, including the World Cultural Heritage site of Baku, Azerbaijan’s Capital.

In 2005, the enterprise was transformed into the Erich Pummer Studio Ltd. In 2009 the company acquired the concession for special stone mason technologies in engagements of static redevelopments, as well as dismantling and mounting monuments for complete conservation.

Participation in scientific conservation projects, through the support of the European Union and intensive cooperation with foreign experts in international congresses and meetings, ensured Erich Pummer and his team cutting edge information and know how. Due to his 30 years of experience in stone conservation, Erich Pummer has been a frequent guest lecturer in workshops, congresses and presentations across numerous European countries, including Austria, Germany (Berlin, Leipzig, Weimar), Italy (Padua, Treviso), Slovenia (Laibach), Spain (Madrid), Russia (St. Petersburg, Moscow), Romania (Tulcea), Poland (Torun), Croatia (Osijek), Azerbaijan (Baku).

As a result of the successful preservation of numerous artworks in Europe, through the use of the patented Vacuum Conservation Method (VAC), Erich Pummer was awarded the "Innovationspreis der deutschen Stiftung Denkmalpflege" (Bernhard Remmers Award in November 2010 in Leipzig, Germany.

The "Innovationspreis 2010" (innovation award), bestowed by the "Österreichische Wirtschaftskammer OWK" was awarded to Erich Pummer for the development of the Vacuum Conservation Method in the restoration of artworks in October 2010 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

The high level of reliability and quality assured by the Erich Pummer Studio is the basis for its continued activity on St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the landmark of Vienna and Austria, since 1997. The laser cleaning of the medieval original substance, VAC vacuum preservation of sculptures and architectural elements, and the use of scientifically proven methods and materials, form the basic requirements for the comprehensive restoration plan. Several objects including the "Albertinische Chor" and its western facades including the "Heidentürme" and a large part 136 m main tower have been fully restored. After 17 years of ongoing work, the conclusion of this major project is scheduled for 2018. The long lasting cooperation with St. Stephen’s Cathedral also ensures the conservation of works on the southern facades (St. Bartholomew’s Chapel) will continue to the highest standards.

The international trade fair "Denkmal", or "Monument", in Leipzig 2009 established contacts with the Central Asian Republic of Azerbaijan.

In 2010, following the compelling presentation of the work methodology, which was verified by the UNESCO Commission, the general contract with "Icheri Sheher" (the administration of the historic city Baku) for the conservation of the Mohammed Mosque (11th century) was established.

On the basis of this successful access, Erich Pummer founded an official branch of Erich Pummer Ltd. in Azerbaijan in the Spring 2011. The UNESCO world heritage protected landmark of Baku, the Maiden Tower (Qiz Qalasi) and additional conservation projects, are to be restored by Erich Pummer’s proven team.

The principles established by Erich Pummer, to set exclusively on high quality and high standards, has proven itself time and time again.