Industrial Liaison Office

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Restoration of frescoes

Virtual section of frescoed plaster damaged by environmental pollution Virtual section of frescoed plaster damaged by environmental pollution

Plasters painted with frescoes are extremely vulnerable to deterioration from numerous causes, including humidity, temperature changes and pollution. Techniques employed in recent decades for the restoration and preservation of works of art of this kind are beginning to reveal significant deficiencies that can lead to the re-emergence of degenerative processes.


Elettra's contribution
The non-destructive nature of microtomography allows detailed examination of the structure of a plaster specimen at various phases of the restoration and conservation process, with no effect upon its chemical and physical properties. Furthermore, the phase contrast technique can reveal the presence of organic stabilising compounds currently being used, whereas they would be undetectable by traditional radiographic methods.
Analysis of this kind can provide a rapid assessment of the potential counter-productive effects of preservation practices, and allow selection of the most
appropriate restoration procedure based upon the characteristics of the fresco and its degree of deterioration.


Facility: SYRMEP Beamline