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  • Photograph of Bata Shoe Museum conservator Ada Hopkins, inserting replacement fabric to conserve the original brocade on an 18th century shoe.
  • Magnifying Glass

Bata Shoe Museum conservator Ada Hopkins, inserting replacement fabric to conserve the original brocade on an 18th century shoe.
Photograph by Stephanie Draker
© Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto

Conservation or Restoration

Conservation may be defined as “any action taken to preserve or prolong the life of museum artefacts”. The conservator does everything possible to prevent on-going artefact deterioration and destruction due to structure, material, people or the environment.

Restoration may be defined as any action taken to return an artefact to its original intended state, removing signs of wear and replacing missing parts. It is the practice of the Bata Shoe Museum to conserve rather than restore; we feel that worn footwear has a more significant cultural meaning than unused pristine shoes. Signs of wear such as chipped corners, torn fabrics and scuffed leather are evidence that these are real shoes, worn by real people.