Lasers in CH analysis, diagnosis and cleaning
In recent years complex diagnostic and restoration problems have been efficiently approached by means of laser techniques. In fact a number of laser material processing and spectroscopic methods has been specifically adapted with exceptional success to the requirements of a wide range of demanding conservation applications.
Surface cleaning, based on laser ablation, has been particularly effective for the controlled and selective removal of altered over-layers and unwanted accumulations in a variety of cases (i.e. stonework, easel paintings, icons, glass and metal objects). Among the outstanding examples is the laser-assisted removal of pollution accumulations from the sculptures of the Athens Acropolis.
Furthermore, spectroscopic techniques, such as micro-Raman, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), have been used to determine the chemical composition of materials in works of art and archaeological findings, while imaging techniques (i.e. multispectral and holographic interferometry) have been able to differentiate similar materials and reveal hidden stratigraphic information.
Illustrative examples related to laser-cleaning will be given and the prospects and limitations of lasers in Cultural Heritage restoration will be discussed. Also the prospects of employing laser analytical techniques in art conservation and archaeometry will be presented in view of recent advances on compact, portable instrumentation.
The workshop will cover:
- An introduction to the use and applications of advanced laser-based technologies in Cultural Heritage (CH) science, diagnostics and conservation.
- A demonstration on the combined use of LIBS and Diffuse reflectance to determine the chemical composition of CH materials
- A demonstration on the real-time documentation of these analytical procedures using the DIAGNOSIS/POLYGNOSIS documentation platforms