A.R.A. is primarily an association for professionals who, through their training and vast experience, have gained a true understanding of this field and, in so doing, have learned to respect and adhere to the criteria for its conscientious practice. All certified members work following the Code of Ethics of the A.R.A. They handle each object with great care and have a responsibility to deliver good work. This responsibility extends to the owner of the object or work of art as well as to the association itself. This, then, ensures that the cultural and/or financial value of the object plays no decisive role.
Furthermore, the association is a centre where every art or antiques enthusiast can come with their questions or problems concerning the restoration, preservation or study of an artwork. A member of the appropriate discipline can then contact the client.
The registered members are nominated by A.R.A. through an approval process and are then recognized as a certified restorer.
Associated members are members who are yet to be tested for compliance to the A.R.A. criteria or who have been tested according to the A.R.A. criteria but who have not yet been formally initiated at the general assembly.
In addition, the A.R.A. also have members who no longer practice restoration but who follow the work of the association and assume a supportive role.
N.B. under ‘membership’ you will find more information about the Admissions procedure and the A.R.A. criteria.
- It stimulates the exchange of experience and knowledge between its members and the various disciplines, as well as between restorers outside the association itself.
- It manages a private Conservators Register, which provides clarity to clients about the knowledge and experience of the restorer.
- It endeavors to create strong working relationships with fellow ‘sister’ organizations and having ties with lobby groups or recognized spokespersons close to the government, which can be very useful (e.g. low VAT rates).
- It aims to build awareness as well as recognition for the ethical codes amongst all restorers in all disciplines.
- It organizes workshops, seminars and studio visits in order to broaden and deepen the knowledge within this field.
- It strives towards a virtual ‘think-tank’ where restorers can come together and try to solve specific restoration problems with some insights from all the various disciplines.
- Clearly it begins with an elemental respect for the object and the artist who created it. Before embarking upon a restoration, the condition of the object will be appraised by the restorer and should be properly documented.
- During the course of a restoration, it is necessary to make the most of reversibility in its application and materials. The restorer is also expected to work with the appropriate equipment.
- The restorer must make clear arrangements with the clients both practically and financially.
- The restorer must remain abreast of all the newest developments within his/her field and of any improved safety measures and techniques.
- The restorer must discuss his/her expertise, techniques etc. with colleagues whenever necessary.
N.B.: the full Code of Ethics of A.R.A. Nederland is outlined in the statutes of the association. A.R.A. also endorses the Code of Ethics of ECCO (European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers Organization).