Nanotechnology to preserve cultural treasures

Experts from nine countries have come together to promote the use of nanotechnology to preserve works of art and other cultural treasures, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

The techniques pioneered by the NANOFORART Project are applicable to structures, paintings and books, the institute, known as INAH, said in a statement.

Piero Baglioni, a researcher and professor at the University of Florence in Italy, has been using the techniques for three decades.

Baglioni and Rodorico Giorgi, also of the University of Florence, travelled to Mexico earlier this month to preside over a conference on Nanotechnology applied to cultural heritage, INAH said.

The project includes specialists from Italy, Spain, Britain, France, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and Mexico and is coordinated by the CSGI center at the University of Florence.

NANONFORART is set to conclude in December 2014 with the "validation of the technology and the methods developed, as well as training activities", INAH said.

Until now, preservation of cultural treasures has been carried out using conventional materials that are often incompatible with the works and can, over time, alter the appearance of the object.

Baglioni has worked with INAH personnel to clean and restore pre-Columbian murals at the Cacaxtla, Cholula, Tlatelolco, Mayapan, El Tajin, Monte Alban and Teotihuacan sites.

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