“Restoration” versus “conservation”

Until recently, the repair and cleaning of a work of art was known as “restoration.” The term implied that a damaged painting, for example, could be returned to its original state. We know, however, that many physical changes over time are permanent and cannot be recovered. For instance, fading of paint by light is irreversible. Traditional restoration may have involved extensive repainting, often misinterpreting the artist’s original conception. As a result, the term “restoration” sometimes carries negative connotations.
The Triumph of Religion