Decorative artifacts are defined as pieces of public art that do not have a structural purpose. Thus the artifact is purely a decorative piece, not an architectural component of the structure to which it is affixed. Additionally, decorative artifacts are generally relatively small in size and often adhered to a wall as opposed to being free standing. Due to the smaller size and portability of these artifacts, they are generally easier to restore than functional artifacts because they can be removed from their location and worked on in a more suitable area. These artifacts are often small enough to be submerged in cleaning solutions. Unfortunately, because these works of art are removable, several pieces have been stolen or lost over the years.
At the present, there are approximately three thousand decorative artifacts located within the city of Venice, with more on the surrounding islands in the lagoon.