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I recently bought this wooden sculpture from Mexico:

wooden sculpture

I am worried that it will eventually give out to the elements and start to show wear and tear. What are the recommended ways to preserve this art work?

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will this be kept outside or inside? – ThinkingMedia Feb 21 at 17:10
    
@ThinkingMedia it will be kept inside – SivaDotRender Feb 21 at 17:17
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Wow, that is a wonderful piece of art! I assume that this will be displayed inside in which case the 'elements' will consist of temperature, dust, handling, and light. Temperature-wise the piece will do well in a residential setting, especially if the space is air conditioned (more consistent temperature and humidity which can affect the wood and could even split it if it was too green when made. Generally avoid rapid changes in its environment. If dust and handling are a concern, consider displaying it in a glass case. This will also have the affect enhancing the drama in displaying it. Finally, keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid ultraviolet light which can change the color of certain woods and paints. You can use feature lighting, but not too close.

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just a quick note: If you contact a conserator at a local art or anthropology museum, telling them what you've got and asking for advice on caring for it, the worst that's likely to happen is that they'll point you to appropriate reading material... – keshlam Feb 21 at 18:11

Above advice is sound, but depending on where in the world you are woodworm and other insects could launch attacks. A proprietory wood preservative could be a good precaution BUT...

  1. They almost all darken the wood, at least to start with, and
  2. Be very careful applying it (try on a concealed surface 1st) as they are often solvent based and could ruin the painted/stained areas.
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