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A conservator from the Cologne City Museum measures the light intensity on a painting before the opening of an exhibition in the Cologne City Museum

The conservator ( Latin for keeper ) is responsible for the care and maintenance of works of art and exhibits . He is usually employed in monument offices and museums . In German museums it is the career title for curators .


In addition to describing an activity, a conservator is also a career title for civil servants and employees in German collections and museums of the public sector . A scientific university degree with a doctorate is generally required. He belongs to the higher service and is remunerated according to the federal salary regulation A (BBesO A).

  • Conservator or Custodian (A 13) - comparable to a student councilor, government councilor, academic councilor
  • Senior curator or senior curator (A 14) - comparable to senior student councilor, senior government councilor, academic senior councilor
  • Chief Curator or Chief Curator (A 15) - comparable to Director of Studies, Government Director, Academic Director
  • State curator or museum director (A 16) - comparable to senior studies director, ministerial councilor

There are opportunities for entry into the profession, for example, by studying art history with a degree in art history , architecture , archeology or restoration and a subsequent traineeship .


In France, the civil servants who are dependent in the public service, in particular from ministries such as the Ministère de la Culture (Ministry of Culture), the Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de la Recherche (Education and Research), the City of Paris and various public corporations , become civil servants summarized under the umbrella term conservateurs du patrimoine (conservator of cultural heritage). They are divided into several professional groups, which are differentiated according to the following fields of activity: archeology , archiving , monuments historiques , museology and inventory . A further group includes those conservators who deal with the cultural heritage from science and technology or with natural science collections and nature parks .

The relevant professional titles are conservateur de l'archéologie (conservator of archeology), conservateur des archives (conservator of the archives), conservateur des monuments historiques (conservator of historical monuments), conservateur des musées (museum conservator ), conservateur de l'inventaire (conservator of the Inventory), conservateur du patrimoine scientifique, technique et naturel (conservator of the scientific, technical and natural heritage)

After acquiring a license or an education or career recognized as equivalent, and after successfully taking part in an entrance examination called a concours (competition), candidates for the above-mentioned positions complete additional specialist training at the Institut national du patrimoine (inp) in Paris . The École du Louvre prepares the candidates for this competition in a specific class préparatoire .

In France there is also the professional profile of conservateur des bibliothèques (conservator of libraries). The requirements for admission to the relevant course of study at the École nationale supérieure des sciences de l'informatique et des bibliothèques (ENSSIB, Villeurbanne), which is under the auspices of the Ministère de l'Éducation nationale et de la recherche , correspond to those above for the conservateur du patrimoine mentioned. The training lasts three semesters and includes an internship.

The curators of the archives and those of the libraries can continue their studies at the École nationale des chartes (see there).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: conservator  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Job description of the Conservateur du patrimoine ( Memento of June 3, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Web presence of the Institut national du patrimoine, Paris (French)
  2. Admission requirements for the competition, tasks and career of the conservateur des bibliothèques website of the French Ministry of Education (French)