Go back to article: Challenges of conservation: working objects

Conservation decisions

Thus a range of factors relating to both material and significance is considered by curators and conservators before making a decision on conservation treatment. There is seldom just one possible course of action, so various conservation options are considered and the risks and benefits of each are weighed and compared (Brooks et al, 1996; Eastop, 1998; Pavelka, 1999). Does the condition or the significance of this object rule out a proposed use, or might it be possible to reach a conservation compromise which would enable this use to be accommodated? Do all possible treatments pose some risk to material or meaning, but does doing nothing carry an even greater risk? Not only the materials and processes used but the perceived significance of objects and reasons for the particular conservation decision should be fully documented. This ensures that future conservation actions are based on understanding the state of the object at the time, and the thinking which influenced conservation choices.

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/160608/008