Laser Cleaning Challenges and Applications
Cleaning of unwanted surface layers is one of the most critical interventive actions in Cultural Heritage (CH) conservation. Aiming to enhance the aesthetics and appearance of the artwork, to reveal hidden details or information and eventually to prolong its life and longevity the Conservator-Restorer interacts directly and irreversibly with the cultural material and thus exceptional control and selectivity are required. Among the cleaning methodologies, lasers hold an important role as they enable high control and accuracy, material selectivity and immediate feedback. Their wide implementation was initially held back due to scepticism originating from the complexity of the involved photosensitive materials, the irreversibility of the intervention and restrictions in testing on authentic surfaces. Nevertheless, previous knowledge from similar simpler systems, extensive studies on model samples and technological breakthroughs addressed successfully these challenges, inspired new approaches and established lasers as highly effective and versatile tools in everyday conservation practice.
More detailed information can be found at LASERS FOR ART SAKE site.