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Conservation or Restoration?

The aim of conservation is to retain as much of the original material as possible as this can provide important clues as to the methods of construction or the societal standing of the owner during different historical periods. Or it may be that the object belonged to a significantly historical figure and conserving such an item prolongs it's life and allows for it to be put safely on display for the public to see.

In contrast, restoring an object will bring it back to as near to it's original condition as possible. This could involve replacing some materials with more sustainable options or totally re-gilding an object to make it look like new for example.

Making the right choice comes after discussions with all of the relevant stakeholders or the owners of the object if it is a family heirloom, to ensure that the outcome is what is expected taking into account all of the above points.

One thing to bear in mind is that treatment of any kind should be carried out by a qualified expert with significant conservation training in the area you need.

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