“The Statue of Hope” at the English Cemetery in Florence is having a 3D scan to analyse the stone prior to having a high-tech clean. The laser reveals every detail.
And in a lab at the CNR facility, nuclear physicists conduct radiocarbon dating on paintings using a particle accelerator.
The method is called Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and can date objects up to fifty thousand years old.
Salvatore Siano, Director of the TEMART project at the National Council for Research (CNR) in Florence said: “Degradation of artworks is bound to become more and more problematic because of human presence, climate change and catastrophe. So science has the task of fine-tuning increasingly effective solutions to guarantee their preservation – not just for the next decades or centuries, but even for the millennia to come. This is obviously a really difficult feat.”
The cooperation of scientists and artists is fostering new technology, and stretching cultural boundaries. But there are still questions on how far a restoration should go.
Cecilia Frosinini, Director of Panel Paintings at the Florence Workshop for the Hard Stone, said: “What we need to try to do is mature our understanding and our expectations. Works of art shouldn’t be like a beautiful woman full of botox and liftings, but rather a lovely woman who can age gracefully and peacefully, and can transmit her essence to her great, great, great grandchildren.”
Using high tech equipment such as lasers, 3D scanners and even a particle accelerator means beautiful artworks will be available for people to enjoy well into the future.