Purpose and Principles
The Getty Conservation Institute aims to advance conservation practice worldwide through the development and implementation of model field projects which incorporate strong research, planning and educational objectives. In all projects, the GCI works with local partners so as to build local expertise and ensure sustainability. The Institute broadly disseminates information resulting from its project work through training and publications.

All projects follow recognized international principles of conservation and adhere to the highest standards of practice. These include an understanding of the cultural significance of the object or site, respect for the multiplicity of values associated with it, thorough documentation and diagnostic research, and intervention which is minimal, compatible, and appropriate to local circumstances.

Project Design
Projects are chosen based on a consideration of both the needs of the conservation field and the GCI's own experience and expertise. The Institute may be approached by a potential partner or may sometimes identify possible partners in area of work in which it has an interest. Field projects are considered on the basis of the significance of the conservation problem to be addressed, the potential research or training opportunities, and the demonstrated willingness of local and national authorities to collaborate on the project. Initial contact is followed by a feasibility study during which all the conceptual and practical parameters of the project are evaluated. Chosen projects are then designed in cooperation with project partners and implemented according to a phased work plan.

All projects are unique in some respect and vary in emphasis, complexity, and scope. However, all adhere to a consistent methodology which includes documentation and recording, diagnostic research and assessment, the development and testing of conservation treatments and strategies, implementation, and, finally, dissemination and training.

By their nature, field projects are multidisciplinary, bringing together specialists from the arts and the sciences to exchange ideas and develop creative and sustainable solutions for preserving our cultural heritage. Current project teams consist of GCI (and sometimes other Getty) staff, representatives of partner organizations, and external consultants. They include archaeologists, conservators, curators, engineers, architects, art historians, biologists, geologists, chemists, city planners, surveyors, museum administrators, and site managers.

Field Projects
The scope of the Institute's field projects is broad in terms of both subject area and geography. Current projects include the conservation of Mediterranean mosaics in situ, Buddhist wall paintings in China, and a Mayan hieroglyphic stairway in Honduras. For further information on these and other GCI projects, see Current Projects and Past Projects.

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