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Subject: Certification


From: Antoinette Dwan <adwan>
Date: Sunday, December 8, 2002
I'd like to add a small part to the certification puzzle. As a
private conservator, I am shocked by the number of people treating
artifacts who do not belong to AIC, have no training at all, and
could care less about ethics or standards of practice. There is a
parallel group practicing and treating probably more artifacts than
ever show up in any museum labs during any year.

As an example, I am currently doing a government bid for
conservation of artifacts for a small historic house. Since we as
conservators have not defined our professional status in any way, no
other agency can ask for it. The requirements on this government bid
are therefore that the proposer must demonstrate that they have
treated artifacts for five years: that means anyone and everyone
doing whatever they want, and lowest bid wins.

Although the museum community is very savvy about how to evaluate
conservators, the general public is not and that includes private
collectors, and small institutions. People really do use the yellow
pages, and if there was a listing there "certified conservator",
they would know to ask and expect some qualifications. Institutions
could also put that in their proposals. Certification is not about
segregating AIC members, it is a way to insist on some standards and
training for the treatment of the vast majority of artifacts that
have not made it into museum collections. Not perfect, but a
necessary step. Respectfully,

Antoinette Dwan AIC Fellow

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:39
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 10, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-39-020
Received on Sunday, 8 December, 2002

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