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How does science help clean a painting or sculpture?

Old artworks are often very dirty and there are many examples of art being damaged by sloppy restoration. Here are 2 ways art can be restored:

Physicists have applied the same laser techniques commonly used for tattoo removal to clean several famous works of art, including wall paintings. “It’s a very effective method. If you use a scalpel you have no way of ensuring discrimination between the encrustation layer and the original surface underneath.” Says Dr Siano of the Restoration School of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. See this link for more detail: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8534969.stm

The Chemical makeup of the original paint is closely linked to the colour. If a perfect restoration is to be achieved, the paint must match. Catherine Higget, who tests the samples in the Gallery’s Science Department explains:

“We do get involved in trying to find original recipes, and then trying to follow them in the lab as much as we can. Since a lot of them seem to involve manure and horrible things like that, we spend a lot of time trying to find a slightly more attractive way of doing it. But to work out how these things are really going to age, you really have to have the true material.”

See this link for details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3598936.stm

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One Response

  1. thanks for that

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