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Irreversible or undesirable change to an object's ideal state. A portion of material or element becomes separated from the whole of the object. Typically noticed when there is an empty space, hole, or damage to a formerly present part of the object.

Loss in a document
There are tears that could be rejoined at the upper left, but the gap on the right side shows a total loss of material

Related Terms[edit | edit source]

flaking, exfoliating, scaling

Synonyms in English[edit | edit source]

without, damage, destruction, missing

Translation[edit | edit source]

English loss
French perte
Spanish perdida
Portuguese perda
Italian perdita
German verlust
Chinese (Traditional) 缺失

Discussion[edit | edit source]

For traditional conservation purposes, any change to the determined ideal state of the object can be construed as loss. Loss can be identified in all object types, including documents, paintings, stone, wood, ceramics, etc. Typical types of loss include flaking on paintings or missing protrusions on sculptures.

If anything ever falls or comes off of an object, immediately put in a conservation-appropriate housing for future conservation and mark the folder or bag as a related fragment. Once the missing pieces are lost, it can be impossible to ever find the original piece and put back together again.

References[edit | edit source]

Demeroukas, Marie. 2010 "Condition Reporting." MRM5: Museum Registration Methods 5th Edition. Washington D.C.

Northeast Document Conservation Center https://www.nedcc.org/

Authenticity, Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-Based Media Installations http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/06/authenticity-change-and-loss-conservation-of-time-based-media-installations

Vergès-Belmin, V., ed. 2008. Illustrated glossary on stone deterioration patterns. English-French ed., Monuments & Sites no. 15. Paris: ICOMOS and (ISCS) International Scientific Committee for Stone. http://www.icomos.org/publications/monuments_and_sites/15/pdf/Monuments_and_Sites_15_ISCS_Glossary_Stone.pdf

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