Monday, October 23, 2006

Nonotechnology update Nanotechnology saves Renaissance masterpieces, Mayan wallpaintings, and old shipwrecks
Nanotechnology has recently found practical applications in the conservation and restoration of the world’s cultural heritage. Nanoparticles of calcium and magnesium hydroxide and carbonate have been used to restore and protect wall paints, such as Maya paintings in Mexico or 15th century Italian masterpieces. Nanoparticle applications were also used to restore old paper documents, where acidic inks have caused the cellulose fibers to break up, and to treat acidic wood from a 400-year-old shipwreck.
Aside from the enormously rich cultural resources in the city of Florence, it is one of the most suitable places for conservation studies. For example, after the 1966 Florence flood, the Center for Colloid and Surface Science (CSGI) research group at the University of Florence, founded by Prof. Enzo Ferroni and currently directed by Piero Baglioni, was the first academic institution that applied a rigorous scientific approach to the investigation of cultural heritage degradation.