JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 10 (pp. 363 to 380)
PRIOR REPAIRS: WHEN SHOULD THEY BE PRESERVED?
JEAN D. PORTELL
ABSTRACT—If an object that is in need of treatment already has evident repairs or restorations, questions arise about whether to reverse or preserve them. For example, are the prior repairs unstable? Are they causing damage to the object? Do they excessively impair a visual appreciation of the object? Other issues should also be considered, such as whether the repairs are appropriate to the culture of the object's origin, whether they may have spiritual or historical significance, and whether it is possible to know the artist's opinion about the repairs. Electronic media artworks present unique re-treatment concerns. Such issues need to be discussed with the owner whenever new treatment is planned. The author presents the reasons that some prior interventions have been preserved (or not) on a variety of cultural objects and offers a checklist of talking points to guide future discussions.