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    A new method of restoring colour of old paintings developed by the UW's Chemists in collaboration with the National Museum in Warsaw

    Chemists from the University of Warsaw in cooperation with the National Museum in Warsaw have developed a new method of restoring colours on canvas. It allows the removal of wax-resin mass from the canvases that comes from the past conservation works. This procedure allows the paintings to be restored to their original colours by using a special organogel.

    The organogel is based on a polymer network reinforced with nanostructures. It contains a specially developed solvent mixture that dissolves and removes the wax-resin mass, and at the same time has no negative impact on the other layers of the image.

    As the authors of the idea declare, there is currently no solution in the world that would allow such an effective, safe, non-invasive, convenient and quick way to clean works of art from wax soaking through them. Scientists have already taken care of international patent protection for the invented organogel. They want it to be put into practical use as quickly as possible.

    “Recently conducted laboratory tests have been successful, and tests performed on original images have proved that the new method can be successfully implemented in professional conservation works”.

    The University declares that many paintings have been subjected to conservation in the past, which consisted in strengthening the original canvas by sticking an additional layer of new material on its back with a mixture of wax and resin (the so-called duplicate). However, with the passage of time, the wax had a negative effect on the original colors of the work – in the restored paintings the most common were darkening and muffled colors, softening of contrasts and the previously absent dark yellow dominant.

    Photos of an example restoring process:

    uw.edu.pl

     

     

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