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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-03-26

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek laser conservation technique for Acropolis monuments to be presented at major US universities

  • [01] Greek laser conservation technique for Acropolis monuments to be presented at major US universities

    ANA-MPA -- Greece's innovative technique of using lasers to clean the surface of antique marble will be presented at six US universities from March 24 to April 4 by the scientific teams using them on the restoration of the Acropolis monuments.

    The presentations will be made by the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser at the Foundation for Research and Technology (IESL-FORTH) and the Acropolis Monuments Restoration Service (YSMA) and funded by the Onassis Foundation's University Seminars Programme.

    A cycle of six lectures entitled «The Acropolis Restoration Project and the Laser Application» will be presented at the relevant departments of the universities of Columbia, Yale, Pennsylvania, Boston, Delaware and Stony Brook.

    The lectures will be delivered by YSMA head Vassiliki Eleftheriou and IESL-FORTH scientist Dimitrio Agglo, also University of Crete associate professor in chemistry. The aim of the seminars is to present the long restoration project of the Acropolis and the emergence of laser cleaning technique which has been applied daily over the last 12 years to its monument and sculptures.

    According to a statement, the innovative laser system was developed by the IESL-FORTH research team in Heraklion, Crete, specifically for the cleaning of the marbles. The novelty lies in the simultaneous use of two laser beams, allowing the conservator to accurately remove deposits of contaminants from the surface of the sculpture and ensure that the original substrate will not become discolored or suffer some other damage, as the work entails working only on the marble surface.

    The application of laser conservation started in 2001 by YSMA in collaboration with the Archaeological Service's First Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities department. Since 2009 it operates out of the Acropolis Museum. The application includes cleaning of the West frieze of the Parthenon and the ceiling of the porches of the Caryatids, and of the Caryatids themselves.

    The long and systematic research by the IESL-FORTH has produced pioneering research and technological achievements in the field of culture at a national and international level. The Institute has, for example, participated in the European research infrastructure CHARISMA (exploring innovative technologies for the diagnosis and conservation of archaeological and historical artefacts, monuments and works of art) and in the European programmes PROMET, ATHENA, CLIMATE FOR CULTURE and SYDDARTA.

    This context, in cooperation with the Acropolis Museum, also includes the notion of an ''open public conservation laboratory using laser techniques" for the in-place laser conservation of the Caryatids in the museum. In the Museum's controlled environment, visitor have the opportunity to see the actual cleaning of the sculptures by laser, an initiative recognised in 2012 by the International Institute for Conservation (IIC) with the Keck prize.

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