On day two, back in the seminar room, delegates heard a detailed case study of the reconstruction of "Der Kampf ums Mattrhorn" (1928). It’s a fictionalized account of the first climbing of the Matterhorn, and the restoration was a challenge of similar proportions.
Anke Mebold, from the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt, told the audience that all primary sources were considered lost. The reconstruction drew on surviving prints of foreign release versions, while the intertitles were lifted from a 16mm reissue version, using foreign theatrical prints as reference. “We restorers oscillate between beneficial deeds and destructive acts”, she said ruefully – the sole source for the film’s climax was a vintage Czech distribution print that had been badly damaged by earlier generations of 'restorers'. Retouching ink and paper stickers had to be analyzed and removed manually, frame-by-frame, to reveal long-obscured images. And, frustratingly, after her work on the film was finished, a full original print of the film was found in Prague