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Laser Technology for Analysis, Cleaning and Restoration of Ancient Painted Artworks
J. P. Dudeja

Ancient paintings are a source of pride for any alert citizen of the world. But with the passage of time, these paintings get discoloured; develop cracks and many other defects. Knowing the materials of any given painting and its support allows for the proper restoration and conservation practices. Restoration includes repairing paintings that have suffered paint loss, weakened canvas, tears, water damage, fire damage, and insect damage. In this paper we have described the advantages of using lasers over many traditional techniques for the analysis and conservation of these artworks. The laser-based technologies reviewed for this purpose in this paper are: laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS); micro- Raman spectroscopy; optical coherence tomography (OCT); laserinduced fluorescence (LIF); photoluminescence; and combinations thereof. It has been argued that these technologies have an edge over the non-laser ones for the analysis, cleaning and restoration of ancient painted artworks.

Keywords: Laser beam, artwork, paintings, laser cleaning, restoration, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), Raman spectroscopy, laserinduced fluorescence (LIF), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy

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