La Ruta Maya Conservation Foundation believes that the ancient Mayan artifacts should be given the same consideration as other works of fine art of the World’s cultures. The ravages of time and long term burial cause damages that often diminish the artistic qualities, so we wish not only to preserve and protect the objects in our collections, but to restore them as faithfully and responsibly as possible, so that the fine artistic qualities created by ancient artists can be fully appreciated in today’s world.
The restoration of each object is based on careful study and analysis of the physical condition and the visible evidence that remains on an object to support the restoration as accurately as possible. In some instances, research will produce comparable objects or even painted vessels that were created by the same artist and with the same scene. This can be a valuable asset in our effort to faithfully restore an object. There is a definite line of distinction between the practice of faithful restoration of art and the careless efforts of re-creation which we do not support.
According to the standards established by La Ruta Maya Conservation Foundation, any painted image, glyph or trait will be kept as original as possible and will only be restored if there is enough evidence for a specific trace or detail. Such details can be detected with a careful examination with specialized photographic techniques and other microscopic procedures. Such specific characteristics in Maya art and iconography are the ones that provide information on the imagery’s features and details.
The restoration process is documented by photos from beginning to end, and held in our files together with any written and graphic research documents pertinent to the object or similar examples. Our policy is to use reversible materials for restoration, so there is no harm to the original object. If any alteration of the restoration is necessary it can be easily accomplished, now or in the distant future.
It is important to note that many important exhibitions of Maya art throughout the World, and many books published by well-known scholars, also include restored objects. It is the restoration of the original artwork of those objects that has made it possible for them to be seen and appreciated as true masterpieces of Maya art. La Ruta Maya Conservation Foundation has both the privilege and the responsibility of providing this care for the art in its collections.