Contemporary Theory of Conservation by Salvador Munoz-Vinas

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By Salvador Munoz-Vinas

Classical theories of conservation are renowned within the historical past neighborhood, yet within the final twenty years pondering has shifted, and classical idea has confronted expanding feedback. modern concept of Conservation brings jointly present rules in conservation conception, providing a established, coherent research of the topic for the 1st time. This enticing and readable textual content is divided into three components. the 1st, basics of conservation, addresses the id of conservation itself, and difficulties bobbing up whilst classical conservation theories are utilized. the second one half, wondering classical theories, delves deeper into the feedback of classical principles resembling reversibility. This leads directly to the construction of latest paradigms resembling sustainability, that are coated within the ultimate a part of the booklet, Conservation ethics.

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The term ‘preservation’ is used to refer to conservation in the narrow sense. Of course, when other authors have been quoted, these rules do not apply, as quoted texts have been maintained as originally written by their authors. Preservation and restoration Preservation Beyond the heritage field, ‘preservation’ means to keep something as it is, without changing it in any way: retaining its shape, status, ownership, use, etc. This general meaning is maintained when speaking of heritage preservation, which could be provisionally 16 Contemporary theory of conservation defined as ‘the activity that avoids alterations of something over time’.

What is a historic work? A natural answer would be: an object that is useful to historians, an object which helps in the elaboration of historical knowledge, historical pieces of evidence. However, if this is correct, the category of conservation objects is much broader than that of historic works. Many conservation objects have never been useful to historians, nor have they been studied from a historical point of view. For example, contemporary art, personal memorabilia, even historical documents that lie in dark rooms in the city council archives of forgotten countryside villages, silently waiting to be analysed or read by someone, are considered to be conservation objects, even though they have not yet proven useful to historians.

In any reflection upon conservation, even more so in any theoretical reflection, the clear and consistent use of terms is a must. When common-language expressions do not allow for the required level of precision, some conventions are established to allow for a coherent discourse. For example, in the documents from the European Conservator-Restorers’ Organization, the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education, or the United Kingdom and Ireland’s National Council for ConservationRestoration the expression ‘conservation-restoration’ is used to refer to ‘conservation’ in the broad sense.

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