The Office of Cultural Heritage is committed to a professional conservation practice that recognizes the diverse meanings embedded in material culture and the nuanced context of the heritage collection held by the U.S. Department of State. The heritage collection includes movable and immovable assets: archaeological sites, landscapes, buildings, structures, architectural elements, fine and decorative arts, ethnographic objects, archival documents and ephemera, and other items. These resources are often culturally significant to the host nation in which they are located and may have originated. Conservation of such sites, structures, and objects is an important part of the U.S. diplomatic mission abroad, strengthening communal ties through a shared cultural appreciation.
The theoretical and practical conservation approach taken by the Office of Cultural Heritage considers the social, cultural, and technical implications of intervention. This multi-faceted methodology guides the conservation services provided to diplomatic posts abroad. The conservation team works onsite and with local specialists to treat, repair, stabilize, and restore the heritage collection as needed for their safe display and continued use.