The Cleaning of the Parthenon West Frieze by Means of Combined IR- and UV-Radiation
This chapter deals with the cleaning of the Parthenon West Frieze by means of an innovative laser cleaning methodology. Following a comparative study of various cleaning methods, laser cleaning was proven to be the most efficient method for the removal of loose deposits and black crusts. The laser system employed is a Q-switched Nd:YAG system emitting at the fundamental and the third harmonic frequencies designed and developed by FORTH-IESL. The system emits in two wavelength beams individually or in combination. This feature, along with possible modification of the laser parameters – energy density, number of pulses, the contribution of each beam to the final combined beam – for each individual case of encrustation and substrate (marble, monochromatic layers), leads to a safe and controlled cleaning result. The project commenced in 2002 and was completed in January 2005. Since then, the Parthenon West Frieze is on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece.
KeywordsCalcium Carbonate Infrared Radiation Cleaning Process Cleaning Method Black Crust
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