The binomial conservation-restoration is based on the acknowledgment of a specific value, its irreproducibility and irreplaceability, and on the transmission to future generations in order to learn important lessons. When planning a preservation-restoration process, we refer firstly to the concept of integrity. This concept raises awareness of the fact that every cultural and material item has two fundamental aspects: the peculiarities of the material it was made with and the information that this material conveys. In order to respect the integrity of a cultural heritage, one has to recognize the intangibility of the original material; the material must remain as untouched and undamaged as possible. We then have the task to preserve the item, so that it can be transmitted to future generations, and this often a very complex task.
The Laboratory for Conservation and Exhibition Planning operates in two directions:
- conservation-restoration: the tools operate directly on the piece of art;
- precautionary preservation: seeks to protect the piece of art and the laboratory operates on the surrounding environment only.
The preservation-restoration process may be applied to single items or to entire collections. It is important to detect and eliminate the elements of their original environment that may deteriorate the artwork itself.