Niektóre zagadnienia etyczne w teorii i praktyce konserwatorskiej
SOME ETHICAL PROBLEMS IN THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CONSERVATION
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The ethical problems of conservation discussed by the author in his present work consist, in the first line, of competences and responsibilities following from both the adopted principles of conservation and standards of practical activities that have been worked out in the course of practice. The competences of an artist-conservator constitute a result of his professional training which, in other words, may be described as acquisition of necessary amount of knowledge and practical abilities and skills and also gaining of a defined ideological attitude. The responsibility, however, is connected with assuring and guaranteeing of purposeful action considered from the viewpoint of the method, the means of action and the function of the work. The so considered set of problems includes also all motivations and intentions that are preceding the concrete decisions or actions whereas as an essential ethical criterion may be regarded both the proper motivations and the actions themselves. As the main ideological factor in motivation is to be regarded the humanist nature of the conservator’s work which has to meet the cultural needs of the community. By saying this the author does not mean a simple demand for values of certain type but the values themselves that may influence the directed cultural processes. In addition to factors connected with the profession alone and the professional or ideological motivations the results of actions undertaken by a conservator may frequently be quite basically affected by a number of objective factors such as, for instance, the organization and activities of administrative units in conservation authorities, the material supply, the development and equipment of ateliers or laboratories but also the characteristic features of the conservator’s personality, his sense of fellowship, honesty or readiness to convey his experience to others without any outlooks for personal profits and so forth. It must, however, be emphasized that only a small share of the above requirements of the conservator’s practical activities is being met usually. There is, for example, an apparent lack of smoothly working laboratories or frequently observable shortages in materials or tools. In several instances it proves impossible to obtain the full informative material that may be inevitably needed for taking and carrying out of decision m conservation practice. Such situation is obviously limiting the reasoned forecasting of results of actions undertaken by a conservator, at the same time increasing the share of risks and causing ethical uncertamity in professional respect. The conservators in this country h a v e , no doubt, every reason to be proud of their achievements, but their activities, in view of specific needs, are still far from adequacy. As consequence of financial troubles at least 50 per cent of skilled conservators and restorers are not properly employed or are employed in forms conflicting with their skills and abilities. This extremely difficult situation prevailing in art of conservation in this country should be subjected to careful analysis and at the same time as one of urgent tasks must be regarded the further improvement of organization, this of execution and that of regulations ruling the wages.
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