Concern for the preservation of art and antiquities has been recorded as early as during the time of Archimedes in ancient Greece. 1800 years later, by the time of the Renaissance, the preservation of art was already a well developed practice. Modern technological advances and the scientific method of study has since added to and modified the ancient empirically developed practices to produce the modern profession of Art Conservators.

It is of crucial importance to conduct conservation and restoration treatments on artworks using the most modern and sophisticated methods and materials as accepted by authorities in the conservation field. The American Institute for Conservation has outlined a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for working conservators. These guidelines provide a basic standard for the treatment of artworks. A conservators training and facility must be capable of meeting these standards in order to perform competent treatments on irreplaceable works of art.

Conservators are responsible for the long- term preservation of artistic and cultural artifacts. They do this 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 in all of the areas previously indicated. Conservation is an interdisciplinary field involving studio practices, sciences, and the humanities.

A conservator’s responsibilities may include:

• examination procedures to determine the materials, method of manufacture, and properties of objects or structures and the causes and extent of deterioration or alteration

• scientific analysis and research to identify historic and artistic methods and materials of fabrication, and to evaluate the efficacy and appropriateness of materials and procedures of conservation

• documentation procedures to record the condition of an object or site at a specific time, or before, during, and after treatment, and to outline treatment methods and materials in detail

• treatment, including interventive procedures, as well as passive measures to stabilize an artifact or retard its deterioration

• restoration to bring a deteriorated or damaged object or structure closer to a previous or assumed appearance or function