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A conservator-restorer is a professional responsible for the preservation of artistic and cultural artifacts, also known as cultural heritage.[1] Conservators possess the expertise to preserve cultural heritage in a way that retains the integrity of the object, building or site, including its historical significance, context and aesthetic or visual aspects.[2] This kind of preservation is done by analyzing and assessing the condition of cultural property, understanding processes and evidence of deterioration, planning collections care or site management strategies that prevent damage, carrying out conservation treatments, and conducting research.[3] A conservator's job is to ensure that the objects in a museum's collection are kept in the best possible condition, as well as to serve the museum's mission to bring art before the public.[4]

Conservation and restoration

Essentially, the term "conservation" refers to a manner of care or treatment that repairs damage and also takes action to prevent or slow down further deterioration of an object.[5] The term "restoration" refers to a manner of care or treatment in which the goal is to bring an object back to its original appearance or function.[5] "Restoration" can be part of the care and treatment of an object and is a subset of the umbrella term "conservation".[5] Both terms come into play when it comes to the treatment and care of all cultural heritage.

Responsibilities and duties

Use of a microscope to examine the condition of an artwork

Conservators and restorers care for, manage, treat, preserve, and document many different historical items including artifacts, art, and specimens.[6]