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Difference Between "Conservation" and "Restoration"

Discussion in 'Conservation & Restoration' started by SuchMuch, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. SuchMuch

    SuchMuch Detectorist

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    Conservation (based on Latin word "conservare") means to preserve, to keep safe. The main goal of conservation is to preserve historical monument (object/find) and therefore prevent its destruction. Conservation is nailed to preservation instead of adding esthetic improvements.

    Preventive arrangements of preservation such as optimizing climatic conditions are considered to be conservation. Such operations as original substance (find) cleaning and fixing are conservation as well.
    Conservation should be arranged using traditional methods and materials proved to be safe for decades. In general, conservation should be done the way that allows to revert to a point previous to conservation ("Reversibilitat"). Up-to-date materials and methods should be used with care.

    Careful handling and regular control lead to object stays unchanged and help to preserve original shape and prints of bygone days on object.

    Restoration (based on Latin word "restaurare") means to make anew. Restoration brings conservation to a front, but all the arrangements are not limited by just conserving object, modern values are added.

    The goals of restoration is not to add new brilliance that certainly leads to falsification, but preserve esthetic and historical values of any monument (object) with adding appropriate conclusions. Restoration is based upon respect to historical fund to be passed to upcoming generations and based on original documents (materials).

    Tasks of restoration are reconstructions, substituting absent fragments which have affect to esthetic look and readability (understanding) of object. Substituted fragments should be certainly be distinguished at close look up and could be removed without damage to object.

    Nowadays restoration is often involved to correct mistakes done by previous generations of restorers.

    Negative examples of restorations practiced in the past are related to so called "Re-Restoration" or puristic restoration. These examples could be found almost everywhere should it be a wooden sculpture with all paint layers removed or a medieval stone fortress with plaster painting residues removed to the very stone just to exhibit stone "beauty". Coins and other metal finds "cleaned" to the very metal core by means of electrolysis or chemicals are another negative examples, such "cleanings" are done with historical and esthetic values lost.

    This is a translation of article taken from: Archekon