A conservator is a professional that advises on, and carries out, the preservation, conservation, restoration and the technical examination of cultural property.
Conservators usually specialise in one or more areas, such as a material like stone or in a particular cultural category such as archaeological objects. It is advisable to consult an accredited conservator who has the appropriate training and experience for your specific object.
An accredited conservator will advise you on the causes of the damage and the required conservation treatment but can also give you information about the history of the object, how to care for it and how to display and handle it.
Accreditation, such as the PACR-scheme (Professional Accreditation of Conservator-Restorers) in the UK, is an indication that the conservator has been accepted by the accrediting body as having the required training and experience, fulfils the highest standards of the profession and works within the professional guidelines and codes of ethics of the accrediting body.
You can find details of professionally accredited conservators via the Conservation Register (click on this link to access the Register), which also has useful information on how to work with conservators (click here for more information).