Do and Don’t Conservation treatment.

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    • #132251

      Object:  Paint wood Saint sculpture (sacred art).  it belongs to a local historic church.  The image is from Portugal, 1617. 
      I am in charge to do the conservation treatment for this object.
      It has suffered twice from amateur’s treatment before.  But fortunately the overall physical and aesthetic condition is pretty good. 
      The treatment will be done now is general cleaning.   But also years ago during an annual church festivities…  the  excessive fireworks make the entire building to vibrated and the image fell of and broke some its hand fingers.   
      My question is: It’s ethical to make new fingers?  I am concerned and do not intend to break any rules of conservation treatment.  I been talking to numbers of conservators, but the conversation has been very inconclusive, and I am running out time to do reading and study. Best  regards! Luiza

    • #132253

      Adding fingers is perfectly ethical.  In general, what makes conservation treatment ethical is that you don’t cover up original surfaces, that the treatment is detectable and as reversible as is practical, and that the treatment is documented.

    • #132252

      Luisa- Absolutely it is ethical to make new fingers, especially if you have some of the old fingers as references. All the points that Barbara made are correct. I just wanted to give you a link, to a Spanish polychrome sculpture at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles which has several restored fingers on the proper right hand.



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