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The Galleon Atocha
The Mel Fisher Maritime Museum is a 501 (c) (3) accredited, not-for-profit organization existing to research, interpret, and exhibit the maritime history of Florida and the Caribbean in ways that increase knowledge, enrich the spirit, and stimulate inquiry.

Collections ​/ Conservation


What is Conservation?


Conservation is the process of stabilizing and protecting cultural property from further deterioration.  This involves the use of specialized treatments and includes analysis, documentation, and long-term care.  To retain the object’s integrity and diagnostic features, conservators take great care to protect and maintain the object’s original structure and appearance.  It’s not the goal of the conservator to restore the object to its original condition, but rather to preserve the object in its present condition and to stop further deterioration.

Conservation also involves maintaining the artifact’s condition after treatment has been completed.  Conservators monitor and adjust environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and light to maintain an optimal environment to help sustain the artifact’s condition and increase its longevity.

Our laboratory specializes in conserving marine archaeological artifacts. We conduct specialized treatments to physically and chemically stabilize artifacts to stop and prevent further deterioration. These treatments may be as simple as desalination (removing soluble salts) in water baths, or more complex involving chloride removal by electrolytic reduction. It may take as little as a few hours or as long as several years to treatment an artifact.

Do you want to learn more? Take one of our lab tours.

Mel Fisher Maritime Museum - Galleon "Atocha"
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