The Science and Art of Conservation & Restoration


Venizelos  G.  Gavrilakis

President  of  VENIS  STUDIOS

Senior  Expert  Art Conservator  Restorer  

Venizelos G. Gavrilakis was born in 1976 in Thessaloniki, Greece. He studied and specialized in art conservation and restoration of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, historical oil paintings, and Ottoman-era artwork in Mount Athos, Greece. He is an expert on Byzantine art, history, and Icons. He graduated from an art conservation and restoration faculty certified by the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs of Greece in “Artwork & Antiquities Conservation” and obtained a professional license from the Greek Ministry of Education, Research & Religious Affairs of Greece. He attended courses on art conservation and restoration of oil paintings, gilded artwork, and traditional techniques of gilding as well as polishing at the Conservation Fine Art Faculty of “Palazzo Spinelli” in Florence, Italy. He has participated in international conservation meetings and conferences in Greece, United States, and Turkey.

Since 1994, Gavrilakis has been working as a senior expert art conservator, and restorer in, Greece, United States and Turkey.

Gavrilakis has assumed the art conservation and restoration of numerous important historical oil paintings, such as work by the Russian famous painter Ivan Aivazovsky, renown Byzantine and Ottoman-era paintings, icons, panels, frescoes, marquetry, textiles, and artwork on marble, stone, metal, textile, paper, etc., including antiquities such as a Fayoum portrait from 2nd-3rd century BC, Byzantine oil lamps, crosses, and glassware, in museums collections, churches, and private collections.

Gavrilakis has served as the managing director of art conservation laboratories in the monasteries of Mount Athos in Northern Greece, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Halki Theological Seminary in Istanbul. He was a master supervisor for graduates of the French “École Supérieure d'Art d'Avignon” and the Italian “Palazzo Spinelli” in Florence during their practical training in Istanbul.

Gavrilakis is a member of KMKD - Kültürel Mirası Koruma Derneği (Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage), the American Institute of Conservation (AIC), International Institute of Conservation (IIC), ROMOE conservators’ network, the Hellenic Business Club of Turkey and others. He has taught courses in the art conservation and restoration of paintings at the Greek Archdiocese and worked as a photographer of historical artifacts and artwork on Mount Athos and in Istanbul. Gavrilakis was chief conservator and manager of the Conservation Department at the antique gallery “Myro Antiques House” in Greece, and has collaborated with several galleries, antique dealers, and private collectors.

Gavrilakis has delivered lectures, among others, at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts and Istanbul University. He gives conference lectures at HERITAGE ISTANBUL 2021 and 2023. He has published his work in the International Institute of Conservation (IIC), and in other local and international magazines and newspapers. Furthermore, he is an Art Writer – Contributor of the “The Art World News” and “Local Approach”. While he is giving lecture, seminars and doing workshops in his expertise.

In December 2020, Gavrilakis, in the presence of the VENIS STUDIOS team, was interviewed and photographed by Getty Images and REUTERS. The publicity that followed brought worldwide attention and recognition to him and to VENIS STUDIOS.

In October 2021, Gavrilakis and his wife Vaia A. Karagianni, Head Director and art conservator and restorer of VENIS STUDIOS were invited by the Eminence Archbishop of America Mr. Elpidophoros to conserve and restore a 19th-century important icon of St. Nicholas at Manhattan, New York for the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the United States.

Gavrilakis is the president of the art conservation and restoration company VENIS STUDIOS, based in Istanbul, Turkey. While it has others departments in Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, and in other countries in the world. Undertaking the art conservation and restoration of historical artworks and historical monuments worldwide.