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The research Units involved in the project will carry out three parallel lines of research, devoted to the development of environmentally friendly methods of conservation (cleaning, consolidation and protection), to the study of deterioration processes and interactions between the organic and inorganic materials (fundamental research) and to the development of appropriate analytical methods to pursue the first two objectives (developing instrumental methods).

The objectives of the research program can be summarized in this graph:



Where the first objective will focus on the development and synthesis of materials to be used to consolidate (A) and clean (B) stone, cementitious material, paintings and archaeological wood:

A) Development of methods for consolidation: natural biopolymers with nanoclays, a mixture of a in situ synthesized lignin-like polymer (polyisoeugenol) and cellulose nanocrystals, materials with bioactive metallic nanoparticles;

B) Development of innovative methods for the cleaning of stone and painting including those of contemporary art: polyethylene oxide and tetra-polyethylene glycol and enzymatic methods, supramolecular systems.

The second objective aims at implementing the knowledge of degradation processes that affect organic materials: study and characterization of the long-term evolution of organic materials in paintings, archaeological wood and coated stone:

A) Study of the environment system and binder/binder, binder/pigment, binder/binder/ pigment systems in paintings;

B) Evaluation of the photochemical degradation of natural and synthetic organic dyes;

C) assessment of chemical-physical stability of different substrates, stone, woods and paintings, after cleaning and consolidation.

The third objective regards development, implementation and application of integrated analytical methods for diagnostics of organic materials in cultural heritage. The goal of this workpackage is development and optimization of micro-destructive and non-invasive techniques suitable for the characterization of organic materials in artistic/historic/archaeological objects, for the assessment of their preservation and for the evaluation of the interactions between the materials constituent the artistic object and those introduced during conservation.

The importance of the topics covered by the project, with impact on conservation professionals, makes it necessary to disseminate the results as quickly as possible, not only by means of publications on scientific journals with high impact factor, but also by organizing and/or participating in workshops where the end-users (supervisors, conservators, restorers) can be made aware of the potential of the new developed materials and innovative technologies. Given the scientific relevance of the research units and their national and international partnerships, it will be possible to disseminate the project results in a significant way. The organization of an international congress at the end of the project will allow to disseminate the gained knowledge and to establish profitable partnerships.



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