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Conservation, aesthetics of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M075-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2022
Retrieved June 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

The term ‘conservation’ is used, in roughly the same sense, across a wide range of applications, including nature, the environment, wildlife, ancient buildings, ruins, monuments, paintings, sculptures, and more or less any artefacts of value, subject to deterioration. To conserve, in this sense, is to protect, as far as possible, from further deterioration or damage.

‘Conservation’ is closely associated with ‘restoration’ but the terms have different meanings and different connotations in professional circles. To conserve something is to protect it; to restore it is to return it to an earlier state. Yet these can often seem to merge. To clean a painting, removing dirt and stains, could be described as restoring it to an earlier state but would usually be considered as conservation not restoration, while to clean the painting and remove later re-painting not by the original artist would count as restoration.

Citing this article:
Lamarque, Peter. Conservation, aesthetics of, 2022, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M075-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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