Fire, bombing and earthquake. They have all hit the ancient Acropolis in Athens. Today it is still under attack, but from a thoroughly modern enemy -pollution!
Hence scientists’ use of an innovative laser technology system to clean the surface of the monuments. But it is a risky business requiring the utmost precision. In the past, restoration attempts have caused damage.
“The cleaning is not reversible,” said Evi Papaconstantinou, the head of the restoration team.
“If you remove something, you cannot put it (back) in place. So we must be quite sure that we remove the unwanted pollutants and we leave intact the substratum.”
Car exhaust fumes, industrial pollution and acid rain are just some of the foes that the elaborately sculptured stones have fallen prey to. And, as long as such problems remain in the Greek capital, the hi-tech clean-up project is set to continue.