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The materials Beuys chose to use in his work were selected for very particular reasons. The metal the artist used most often was copper, which, as a very good conductor of heat and electricity, was sometimes combined with felt. Other metals he used were iron, zinc, steel, gold and silver, with each carrying distinct associations. This work uses silver paper. Silver is an excellent conductor and is also associated with medicine and healing, which would have interested the artist. It has been used throughout history to treat wounds and burns, and is renowned for its antibacterial properties.