Conservation means preserving the remaining substance. In contrast to restoration, no attempt is usually made during conservation to reinstate the object's original aesthetics or function.
Conservation treatment merely aims to stabilize the object in its present state and to prevent further deterioration. From an ethical point of view this is the ideal approach. It is least intervening with the original substance and, generally speaking, poses least risk to fragile objects.
Conservation treatments are practiced mainly at museums.
The borders between conservation and restoration are diffuse; all kinds of intermediate stages are possible.
Conservation involves taking care for appropriate storage and necessary climatic conditions in case of sensitive, fragile objects (preventative conservation).