The conservator deals with objects or monuments of archaeological, historical and artistic value, trying to restore them in their original state or to delay their natural decay. More precisely, he/she examines carefully the composition of materials and the manner of construction of monuments or objects he/she undertakes to conserve. Subsequently, he/she assesses the extent of wear and what caused it and decides on the techniques-methods to be used for their conservation and restoration. Finally, with the help of tools or/and the use of chemical substances, he/she proceeds with the cleaning of surfaces, the combat of oxidation, the enhancement of worn parts, the highlighting of colours.
The Mechanism of Antikythera underwent mechanical cleaning, owing to the lack of metal core (all information is preserved in the various corrosion strata).
Further below there are concisely described the conservation stages of a bronze object deriving from marine environment.
- Photographic documentation.
- X-ray imaging for detecting the existence or not of core.
- Desalination: Desalination is a process in which the corroded bronze fragments are immersed in successive tap water «baths» and progressively in deionized water.
- Mechanical cleaning to remove accretions, sea-shells and salts.
- Defatting of the object with acetone or alcohol so as to be cleaned from any greasing condition.
- Placement in furnace to remove moisture.
- Stabilization for the treatment of active corrosion, where the object is placed in a special vacuum bell, so as to remove the atmospheric air from the pores of the object.
- Varnishing of the surface to protect it.
- Process of welding with resins and probable restorations.
- Metal analysis for determining the alloy it was made of.