Commentary | Published:

Laser conservation of art

Nature Materials volume 6, pages 320322 (2007) | Download Citation


Focusing a laser on the dirt covering a precious work of art may seem like a dangerous thing to do, but this unexpected technique has found a variety of cleaning applications. Analogies from other fields of materials science can provide guidance for its use, and model experiments ensure it doesn't all end in disaster.

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We would like to acknowledge the contributions from our colleagues at IESL-FORTH and EU Research Infrastructure Laserlab-Europe (R113-CT-2003-506350). The conservation of the Acropolis West Frieze is a collaborative project between IESL-FORTH, ESMA (Committee for the Preservation of the Acropolis Monuments) and YSMA (Acropolis Restoration Service).

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  1. Institute for Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (IESL-FORTH), PO Box 1385, Heraklion, 71110, Greece

    • Austin Nevin
    • , Paraskevi Pouli
    • , Savas Georgiou
    •  & Costas Fotakis
  2. Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN, London, UK

    • Austin Nevin
  3. Department of Physics, University of Crete, PO Box 2208, Haraklion 71003, Greece.;

    • Costas Fotakis


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