The Cercle 250 concept was a great example of private sector support of arts and crafts. Julien Marchenoir described it as a way of influencing other long-established companies to support the arts along the lines of VC. While they started with a list of 1,000 organizations that met the criteria of being established for at least 250 years, adding the element of what he termed the "savoir-faire" of craftsmanship reduced the list to only 150 spread between several European countries.
I did manage to find some comments from the beneficiaries of VC's sponsorship back in 2012 of the Bodmer Foundation.
Charles Mela, Director, indicated they were able to fund a restorations workship for ancient manuscripts. The restorer, Florence Darbre, will be supported for three years to mentor a student. I found her description of the work very interesting:“The practice of restoring scripts requires a minimum of five to seven years’ training, similar to medical studies, but compared to the restoration of painting, it is a relatively young discipline. Restoration work entails preserving the integrity of a document, with a view to lengthening its life. You consolidate in order to be able to manipulate, creating around the object in order to contain, protect and support… working as little as possible on the material itself. This involves gestures of infinite delicacy.
Books as objects are complex by virtue of their binding and the various materials, from papyrus to leather and from flax or hemp to parchment and paper, not to mention the various kinds of inks. Take for example the Gospel of Judas. This papyrus, over 1,700 years old, required four years of attention in order to restore a pile of fragments, assembling the sections, analysing the grain of the fibres, holding them together with tiny fine strands of paper, all the while bearing in mind the reversibility of these add-ons in order to preserve the text and be able to read it!”