What if the artist’s intention is in conflict with the owner’s desire to preserve the work of art?

In October 15, 2013 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Lee Rosenbaum wrote about Anselm Kiefer’s last minute interventions to his works days prior to the opening of his show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (“A New Art Partnership”). Among the things Kiefer did was sweep up gravel that had fallen from one of his works. Rosenbaum noted that Kiefer “likes his works to crumble, weather and deteriorate, all of which stops when they are acquired by preservation minded collectors and museums.”  We often speak about “the artist’s intention”, but what is the right thing to do when the artist’s intention and the owner’s wishes are in conflict?