Choices and decision-making in conservation: The implications of conserving religious icons

Davina Kuh Jakobi



The goal of conservation is to preserve cultural heritage for future generations. However, there are a wide variety of perspectives regarding the conservation of material cultural heritage. Differences of opinion stem from the materials and deterioration present, or the function and history of the object. From the degree of interventive treatment to the choice of materials that will be used during treatment, conservators often differ in opinion regarding the treatment of cultural heritage. But what do these different methods imply for the object? Is there actually a ‘right’ way? Using religious icons as the lens for this discussion, various conservation approaches will be explored. This paper will allow a glimpse of the variety of issues which must be considered during the conservation process, and will demonstrate that above all, that there are no easy answers and no shortage of conflicting opinions in the field of conservation.


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