TateShots goes behind the scenes of Tate to witness the conservation department in action making a series of Chris Ofili replica paintings.

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Tate’s Conservation Department work behind the scenes to ensure future generations can enjoy the Tate Collection. It’s not just old masters that get their attention; contemporary artists work in such a diverse range of materials that the team undertakes extensive research to help them in their task. In this film, paintings conservator Natasha Walker explains how she went about making replica versions of Chris Ofili’s paintings, in order to carry out tests that could never be made on the real works of art. With help from the artist, his assistants, and an elephant at Whipsnade Zoo, Natasha and her team’s ‘Chris Ofilis’ might not be as good as the real thing, but they will help protect them well into the future.