TECHNOLOGICAL ANSWERS
TO RESTORATION

The growing need to preserve our cultural heritage is causing a rise in the demand for increasingly accurate cleaning techniques, featuring high selectivity and low impact.

COMPANY

Light for Art, a sector in the El.En. group specializing in laser systems for the preservation and restoration of art works, combines the group’s philosophy oriented towards new technological challenges with the reclaiming of artistic traditions of the past. The cultural heritage and innovation meant as improvement for humankind, are the two driving powers leading Light for Art’s mission.  Because of the outcomes of the research carried out, El.En. has designed tools that give art the original beauty that time and pollution has concealed.

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Stone

For a number of years, laser has been successfully used in stone and stucco cleaning, with exceptionally positive outcomes.  Experience has shown that the use of laser allows the removal of decay, usually sulphation, at the same time preserving the oxalate film existing between the decay and the original layer.   This operation has never shown unwanted side effects, therefore it can be repeated, thus contributing directly not only to the preservation of monuments, but also to its periodic upkeep.

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Metals

The use of laser in conservation processes of metal items of an artistic or archaeological value is far more limited than the stone sector and can therefore still be considered as an experimental type of operation. Nevertheless, very interesting results have been achieved on gilded bronze and silver surfaces.

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Frescoed surfaces

This is evidently the most delicate operation in which the use of laser is still deeply linked and subject to the results of scientific research. Effective on-site results have been obtained on frescoed surfaces, allowing the removal of the decay, both of the dark kind or light carbonations and a fairly good control of the cleaning process.


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Silver

Recently, laser technology has been applied to silver artifacts. Decaying substances have been effectively and quickly removed using fluence values included within parameters considered safe for the work of art. Excellent outcomes have ensued both from the preservation and the aesthetical point of view. 

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Wood

In the last few year, there has been an increasing interest in laser cleaning of wooden artifacts, since traditional methods such as chemical solvents may cause a deterioration due to the action of the solvents enduring after the restoration. The wooden artifacts are often covered in natural or synthetic materials to safeguard or slow down their decay.

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SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Wood
THE RESTORATION OF THE WOODEN CROSS OF ST MARY OF THE SOUL AND THE RE-DISCOVERY THE ORIGINAL POLYCHROMY

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Dott.ssa Lucia Calzona, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Artistico e per il Polo Museale della città di Roma.

RESTORERS: Daniela Storti, Valeria Merlini, Mariarosaria Di Napoli

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Wood
WOODEN TRIPTYCH WITH CENTRAL CARVING, PIEDMONT WOOD CARVER, 16TH CENTURY

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Centro di Conservazione e Restauro della Venaria Reale, Turin

Taken from “Il laser. Pulitura su materiali di interesse artistico. Attività sperimentale” edited by Annamaria Giovagnoli, Kermes quaderni, Nardini editore.

 

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Metals
THE GATES OF PARADISE OF FLORENCE BAPTISTERY – LORENZO GHIBERTI

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Opificio delle Pietre Dure - Florence

RESTORER:  Annalena Brini, Stefania Agnoletti, Nicola Salvioli

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Silver
SILVER CHURCH FURNISHINGS FROM THE BASILICA MARIA  SS. DELLE GRAZIE – S. GIOVANNI VALDARNO (FLORENCE)

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Opificio delle Pietre Dure - Florence

RESTORER: Paolo Belluzzo

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Frescoes
BAKERS’ NICHE IN THE ROMAN CATACOMBS OF SAINT DOMITILLA - ROME

OBJECTcubicle named "dei fornai" of the catacombs of Domitilla

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION:  Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Sacra - Roma

RESTORER:  Maria Gigliola Patrizi

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Frescoes
CHAPEL OF THE MANTLE OF CHRISTOPHER BY BINDOCCIO AND MEO DI PERO, OLD SACRISTY BY LORENZO VECCHIETTA - SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA (SIENA)     

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Opera di Santa Maria della Scala (SI),  Soprintendenza BSAE  per le provincie di Siena e Grosseto

RESTORER:  Anna Brunetto

SETTORE APPLICATIVO: Metals
GILDED AND SILVER IRON TILE “DAVID CHALLENGING GOLIATH”

AUTHORITY RESPONSIBLE OF THE RESTORATION: Museo  Stibbert, Opificio delle Pietre Dure - Florence

RESTORER:  Elisa Pucci

EOS COMBO

Eos Combo is the latest system designed specifically by El.En. in collaboration with the CNR (National Research Council) to meet the needs of restorers. Eos Combo combines two time systems to cover a wider range of applications: the Short Free Running with impulse duration ranging from 50 to 110 μs and the Long Q-Switch with  100ns impulses. Operators can switch from one system to the other simply pressing a button, according to the conditions for the best cleaning intervention.

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THUNDER COMPACT

THUNDER COMPACT is the new product of Quanta System which follows the success of Thunder Art. This new laser system is still capable of delivering a maximum energy of around 1 J at 1064 nm but its size has been significantly reduced to make the machine easier to be transported and lifted.

 THUNDER COMPACT, despite having reduced dimensions, allows a quick and effective cleaning also of large surfaces.

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EOS 1000 LQS

EOS 1000 LQS features a long Q-switch pulse length (100ns). This laser system was specially designed and tested for cleaning the gilded bronze frieze of the Gates of Paradise, by Lorenzo Ghiberti, at the historic Baptistery in Florence Italy.

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EOS QS

EOS QS is the latest product from El.En’s R&D team. This laser offers two pulse duration options for enhanced usability in a wide-range of applications. It features both Short Free Running (SFR) mode with pulses ranging from 30 to 110µs as well as Q-switch pulse mode (duration 15ns) with energy up to 120mJ.

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LIGHT BRUSH 2

Light Brush 2 is an Er:YAG laser system optimised for the cleaning of artworks .

Er:YAG laser cleaning is based on the strong absorption of the 2940nm wavelength from superficial layers containing OH bonds.

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WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL

Always keen on solving practical problems on restoration work sites, El.En. S.p.A. has devised a bluetooth control panel for its restoration lasers.  This ergonomic system has been specially designed and implemented to integrate all the advantages of using optic-fiber laser systems.

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BLACK BOX

BlackBox is a machinery designed and implemented to record all the information relevant to the transport and the stopovers of the works of art. By memorizing humidity, temperature, pressure, lighting and acceleration readings on the three axes, the system assesses the transport and/or storing conditions in a warehouse or museum during permanent or temporary  exhibitions. BlackBox does not release electromagnetic radiations, therefore it may be installed on any kind of support and means of transportation. Black Box has an average 15-day autonomy and a memory allowing the storage of up 2 GB.

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WHY USING THE LASER FOR CLEANING?

Laser technique was first introduced in the early 1970’s, and since then it has been successfully used on several materials and kinds of decay, as it effectively isolates the original layers from the decayed ones, thus allowing a progressive cleaning process.

 

Four are the main advantages featured by this technology:

 

 Minimal invasiveness: the laser is  characterized by the absence of physical  contact between the instrument and the surface to be treated; it does not require the use of chemicals or of abrasive materials.

 

High degree of control: the removal of the degradation layer affects only a few microns thickness per pulse.

 

Selectivity: materials absorb the optic radiation of solid-state lasers (Nd:YAG) according to their colour, which makes the action of the laser even more selective.

 

High precision: the cleaning process affects only the area illuminated by the laser beam, which may be defined depending on the actual needs. There is no effect on adjacent materials.



NEWS
Light For Art - Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Our lasers in Paris and Leipzig Thanks to our distributors ECP, our lasers were presented at the Salon du Patrimoine of Paris and at the DENKMAL fair in Leipzig.

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Light For Art - Wednesday, 28 December 2016

EL.EN. was sponsor of the LACONA conference El.E. was  a sponsor of the 11th edition of the famous LACONA conference that took place in Krakow from the 19th to the 23rd of September 2016.

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