BUENOS AIRES, July 1 (Xinhua) -- In the age of disposable everything, Argentina's "doll doctor" gives broken toys a second chance of life.
Working out of his "clinic" in the traditional Boedo district of the capital Buenos Aires, Julio Roldan, 52, is also helping to keep alive the ancient craft of mending antique or old porcelain dolls.
Dressed in a white doctor's lab coat, Roldan told Xinhua his profession is similar to an actual physician's in that he helps his patients "recover," only instead of recovering their health, they recover the "affection" of their owners.
"I inherited the trade from my late father," said Roldan, surrounded by a collection of antique dolls.
"There must be 400, 500 (dolls), and no two are alike," he said.
Many of the porcelain dolls he fixed are between 80 and 130 years old, and were originally manufactured in France or Germany.
"I make grandmothers and great grandmothers happy ... because they want to leave their dolls to their grandchildren," Roldan once said in an interview with Argentinian TV.
Born in Tulumba, Cordoba, Roldan recalled learning the tricks of the trade at the age of 13 or 14, when he was first brought to Buenos Aires.
"I work with celluloid, acetone, toluene, chalk, starch" to make the pastes and parts he needs, said Roldan, adding "all the products, I make, because you can't find them already made."
Roldan is one of the few craftsmen left in his field, but he's not lacking for work.
"They bring me a lot jobs," he said.
One of his favorite "patients" was a French doll dating from the late 19th century.
"A lady brought her in," said Roldan. "She was a 140-year-old doll, an automaton, which is what they are called because you wind them up and they move their arms, their hands, and they are musical."
"I asked her to leave the doll with me to see if I could fix the problem, and as she was leaving the doll she said she was leaving a part of her life," recalled Roldan.
When she came back to pick her up, "she couldn't believe how I had restored her," he said.
"Dolls have an incredible affectionate value. They are part of my life, they are my livelihood, they helped me form my family, which I love. I have two children and a grandchild. I love dolls," said Roldan.