Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Surface Characterization, Deposition and Modification".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 19497

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources Engineering and Environment, University of Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
Interests: cultural heritage; cleaning; consolidation; water-repelling; tempera paints; non-invasive techniques
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit your work to this Special Issue of Coatings on “Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage Agenda 2030”. The United Nations has stated that cultural heritage protection is part of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, through the Target 11.4, under SDG11: “strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage” to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. This Special Issue is based on reviews and research focused on the extraction of different patinas, deposits, coatings, or crusts from cultural heritage elements. Cleaning must be a delicate procedure that does not damage valuable substrates and avoids possible harmful effects and cleaner remains. In the current international framework, scientific research on cleaning methodologies of cultural heritage must ensure a high level of sophistication in order to develop guidelines for sustainable cultural heritage.

This Special Issue is focused on multidisciplinary approaches to developing new sustainable methodologies to clean and preserve our cultural heritage elements. In particular, the topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Characterization of coatings, patinas, crusts, or deposits to be removed from cultural heritage elements;
  • Limitations of traditional cleaning procedures;
  • New cleaning strategies and procedures on cultural heritage;
  • Non-invasive analytical techniques to monitor the cleaning of cultural heritage;
  • Case studies.

Dr. Santiago Pozo-Antonio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 6921 KiB  
Article
Reflectance of Oil Paintings: Influence of Paint Layer Thickness and Binder Amount
by José Santiago Pozo-Antonio, Carolina Cardell, Sonia Sánchez and Jesús Montes Rueda
Coatings 2022, 12(5), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12050601 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
Roughness, pigment impurities, and neoformed minerals are important factors affecting the reflectance of painted surfaces. However, other factors that have not yet been studied in detail, such as the total thickness of the paint layer and the amount of binder, should also be [...] Read more.
Roughness, pigment impurities, and neoformed minerals are important factors affecting the reflectance of painted surfaces. However, other factors that have not yet been studied in detail, such as the total thickness of the paint layer and the amount of binder, should also be considered. In this research, oil painting mock-ups, each made with a different number of layers of paint containing a single pigment (lead white, orpiment, cinnabar, azurite or malachite) mixed with different proportions of oil binder, were examined using a hyperspectral imaging system. The results indicate that these characteristics do not directly influence the reflectance of the painted surface. Interestingly, we found that the distribution of the pigments and the oil binder in the paint system (and pigment-binder interaction) are also key to understanding the reflectance values. Thus, accumulation of oil on top of the uppermost paint layer in the multilayer painting mock-ups caused a reduction in reflectance. The increased translucency of the oil paint containing lead white pigment also modified the reflectance, possibly due to the formation of metal soap. Other factors found to affect the reflectance of the painting mock-ups are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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16 pages, 1841 KiB  
Article
Preventing the Undesired Surface Veiling after Nanolime Treatments on Wall Paintings: Preliminary Investigations
by Teresa López-Martínez and Jorge Otero
Coatings 2021, 11(9), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11091083 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1634
Abstract
During the last decades, the discovery of nanolime and its introduction in the field of Cultural Heritage has entailed a significant advance for the consolidation of historic wall paintings. Nevertheless, its use is not completely generalized yet within the conservation practitioner’s community due [...] Read more.
During the last decades, the discovery of nanolime and its introduction in the field of Cultural Heritage has entailed a significant advance for the consolidation of historic wall paintings. Nevertheless, its use is not completely generalized yet within the conservation practitioner’s community due to its undesired white veiling deposit on the surface after treatment which usually covers the pictorial layer. Given the scarcity of existing literature which specify how to mitigate this undesired side-effect, the aim of this work is to carry out the first assessment of possible cleaning and treatment methods to eliminate those deposits and, at the same time, to analyse their effects on the consolidation properties. To do that, we have developed laboratory fresco wall paintings specimens. After applying an artificial ageing cycle to all of them, we consolidated them with CaloSil IP25, one of the most currently used commercial product in the practice. The elimination of the whitish deposits has been investigated with different methods: (1) wiping off the superficial excess of product immediately after each application during the treatment; (2) mechanical cleaning (scalpel) after consolidation; chemical cleaning with rigid gels of water (3), ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) (4) and citric acid (5) after consolidation. The effectiveness of each cleaning method has been assessed by non-destructive methods before and after the consolidation, and repeated after cleaning, by measuring differences in colour, water absorption by capillarity (i.e., sponge test), superficial adhesion (i.e., Scotch Tape Test) and by quantifying the thickness of the deposits eliminated by means of photogrammetry. Results show that both the mechanical cleaning and the removal of the excess of product after each application during the treatment yielded the most promising results for conservation practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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21 pages, 7059 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential of the Er:YAG Laser for the Removal of Cemented Dust from Limestone and Painted Plaster
by Lucia Noor Melita, Katarzyna Węgłowska, Diego Tamburini and Capucine Korenberg
Coatings 2020, 10(11), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10111099 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3313
Abstract
A successful application of Er:YAG laser for the cleaning of a restored Assyrian relief sculpture from the British Museum collection is presented. Displayed in the gallery, the sculpture has darkened over time due to the natural deposition of dirt, in particular on restored [...] Read more.
A successful application of Er:YAG laser for the cleaning of a restored Assyrian relief sculpture from the British Museum collection is presented. Displayed in the gallery, the sculpture has darkened over time due to the natural deposition of dirt, in particular on restored parts. Since traditional cleaning methods have demonstrated to be unsuccessful, a scientific investigation was performed to identify the composition of the soiling and the materials used for the restoration. The analysis suggested the presence of gypsum, calcium oxalate, carbonates and alumino-silicates on the encrustation. The molded plaster, composed of lime and gypsum and pigmented aggregates, was likely prepared at the end of the 19th century to mimic the stone color. It was repainted with what was identified as a modern oil-based overpaint, applied to cover darkening during a second conservation treatment in the 20th century. Laser trials were first performed on small areas of the objects and on mock-ups to determine the critical fluence thresholds of the surface, investigated through visual examination and analyses using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py–GC–MS). The right parameters and conditions to be used during the cleaning process were, therefore, determined. The chemical selectivity of the cleaning process allowed us to complete the treatment safely while preserving the restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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22 pages, 10658 KiB  
Article
Overcoming Challenges in Street Art Murals Conservation: A Comparative Study on Cleaning Approach and Methodology
by Moira Bertasa, Chiara Ricci, Arianna Scarcella, Francesca Zenucchini, Giulia Pellis, Paola Croveri and Dominique Scalarone
Coatings 2020, 10(11), 1019; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10111019 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3846
Abstract
Street art, and its preservation, has become one of the most discussed and still open topics in the field of conservation. The absence of a sharable conservation protocol in terms of cleaning and protection is a delicate subject to deal with. The cleaning [...] Read more.
Street art, and its preservation, has become one of the most discussed and still open topics in the field of conservation. The absence of a sharable conservation protocol in terms of cleaning and protection is a delicate subject to deal with. The cleaning of contemporary murals and urban artworks stained by graphical vandalism is a real challenge, due to the similar chemical composition of the materials involved. In this work two different approaches to the cleaning of street art murals, namely chemical methods and laser cleaning, are reported and compared with the aim of identifying a suitable conservation practice. Ad hoc concrete mock-ups coated with a paint layer and a simulated vandalism on top have been prepared and used for the testing and analytical assessment of the cleaning procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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25 pages, 9358 KiB  
Article
Anti-Graffiti Coatings on Stones for Historical Buildings in Turin (NW Italy)
by Chiara Ricci, Francesca Gambino, Marco Nervo, Anna Piccirillo, Arianna Scarcella, Alessandra De Stefanis and Jose Santiago Pozo-Antonio
Coatings 2020, 10(6), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10060582 - 22 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4140
Abstract
The application of anti-graffiti products to stones belonging to architectural heritage is a common procedure that is currently complementary to traditional graffiti removal treatments, such as chemical and mechanical cleaning. In this study, two anti-graffiti coatings (a sacrificial product and a permanent one) [...] Read more.
The application of anti-graffiti products to stones belonging to architectural heritage is a common procedure that is currently complementary to traditional graffiti removal treatments, such as chemical and mechanical cleaning. In this study, two anti-graffiti coatings (a sacrificial product and a permanent one) were tested on four stones (with a different texture, mineralogy, and surface finish) commonly found in the historical city center of Turin (Italy). In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the anti-graffiti products, the removal of two graffiti paints with different compositions was tested. The results of the cleaning procedures performed on the surfaces coated with anti-graffiti products were evaluated, considering both the graffiti remains and the alterations induced on the surface. Chemical cleaning based on the use of a low-toxic ternary solvent mixture was applied on the unprotected stones for a comparison with the results obtained on the surfaces coated with anti-graffiti products. The samples were observed under stereomicroscopy and ultraviolet fluorescence photography and all of the treated surfaces were evaluated by roughness measurements, the contact sponge method, static contact angle measurements, and scanning electron microscopy. The composition of the anti-graffiti product, the graffiti paint to be cleaned, and the remover recommended by the manufacturer proved to be key factors for the cleaning effectiveness achieved on coated surfaces. Moreover, to a lesser extent, the mineralogy, texture, and surface finish of the stone also influenced the results of the cleaning procedures. The sacrificial anti-graffiti product enhanced the cleaning effectiveness on all stones if compared to uncoated surfaces; however, the permanence of coating remains on the surface after cleaning proved to be critical. Regarding the use of the permanent anti-graffiti products, intense disparate results were achieved, depending on the graffiti paint composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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22 pages, 4257 KiB  
Article
Developing New Cleaning Strategies of Cultural Heritage Stones: Are Synergistic Combinations of a Low-Toxic Solvent Ternary Mixtures Followed by Laser the Solution?
by Chiara Ricci, Francesca Gambino, Marco Nervo, Anna Piccirillo, Arianna Scarcella, Francesca Zenucchini and José Santiago Pozo-Antonio
Coatings 2020, 10(5), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10050466 - 10 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2684
Abstract
As the UN Agenda 2030 recognizes heritage protection in several goals, this research was focused on the improvement of the graffiti removal from stones. The cleaning of two graffiti paints with different composition (an alkyd- and an acrylic–based paints) from two stones (gneiss [...] Read more.
As the UN Agenda 2030 recognizes heritage protection in several goals, this research was focused on the improvement of the graffiti removal from stones. The cleaning of two graffiti paints with different composition (an alkyd- and an acrylic–based paints) from two stones (gneiss and travertine) was performed considering a synergistic approach based on the combination of a low-toxic solvent ternary mixture, followed by an Nd:YAG laser. The different concentrations of the low-toxic solvents were based on the triangular Teas graph, keeping similar Hansen solubility of the products commonly used in conservation of cultural heritage: methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and n-butyl acetate. The n-butyl acetate was replaced by mixture A (51% ethyl alcohol/11% acetone/38% isooctane) and MEK by mixture B (7%/13%/80%). Regardless of the graffiti composition, the gneiss was satisfactorily cleaned with the mixture A, while for the travertine, the best results were achieved by the mixture B. Then, surfaces treated with the mixtures were irradiated with a QS Nd:YAG laser working at 532 nm. The cleaning evaluation was performed by stereomicroscopy, color spectrophotometry, roughness measurements, reflectance measurements, and scanning electron microscopy. As result, regardless on the stone and the graffiti paints, it was confirmed the enhancement of cleaning of the mixtures followed by the Nd:YAG laser. However, it is crucial to identify previously the concentrations of the chemical products that allow the best performance considering the graffiti-stone interaction, on the one hand, and the optimal laser’s parameters, on the other hand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Looking for a Sustainable Cleaning of Cultural Heritage: Agenda 2030)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Overcoming challenges in street art murals conservation: a comparative study on cleaning approach and methodology
Authors: M. Bertasa, C. Ricci, A. Scarcella, F. Zenucchini, P. Croveri and D. Scalarone, et al.

Title:
Investigating the potential of the Er:YAG laser for the cleaning of cemented dust from limestone and painted surfaces
Authors: Lucia N. Melita, Katarzyna Weglowska, Diego Tamburini and Capucine Korenberg

Title:
The effect of the Er:YAG laser radiation on organic materials: an analytical study on the cleaning mechanisms for the removal of adhesives, coatings and consolidants
Authors: Lucia N. Melita and C. Korenberg
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