Conservation decisions can impact on social systems of
meaning, uses and functions of objects. Working with the tangible spheres of
objects can also affect intangible aspects. Examples of the impact of conservation
can be seen more clearly when conservators work with living heritage and
Conservators are an inherent part of the heritage profession and should therefore be involved in the debate about unprovenanced antiquities. Although it may be difficult for conservators to avoid the treatment of such artefacts at this point, the improvement of education, transparency and accountability can lead to a better situation in the future. Conservators need to get involved with this topic as a profession and not leave the decision making process up to the individual.
The poster argues that conservators who conserve unprovenienced antiquities are not being much different from criminals who perform conservation techniques on the artefacts they illegally obtain. The poster also expresses the damage that can be done to the archaeological record by conservators who engage in the conservation of unprovenience artefacts.