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Basque researchers apply chemistry to restoration of paintings and dating of signatures
Date:6/2/2010

Providing solutions to any current problem is the mission of analytical chemistry, according to Ms Rosa Alonso, director of the Farmartem Research Group at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). The group's name says it all with respect to the wide range of these problems - Farmartem: the abbreviation in Spanish of pharmaceuticals, art and the environment (frmacos, arte, medio ambiente).

Art has been the line of research least worked on by the Group. Nonetheless, according to Dr. Alonso, it is gathering strength: "I believe it to have a promising future. Not a great deal has been done to date in the Basque Country with regard to document dating matters".

It is precisely document dating that is one of the prime tasks in the line of fine arts at Farmartem. There is, moreover, a project subsidised by the Basque Government: Analytical methods applied to the forensic analysis of documents. In this, they are working with a company specialised in the legal examination and dating of possibly forged documents. "At times doubts arise over the authenticity of the signature on a contract. In those cases, legally it is highly important to know how they have been signed; if, for example, the two signatures on the same contract have been signed with the same pen and on the same date", explained Ms Itxaso Maguregi, lecturer at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Fine Arts and in charge of this line of research. "For instance, the inks have solvents which disappear with time. By investigating these solvents we can know, more or less, how long the signature has been on the manuscript". Currently we can fix the date of a signature with a margin of error of five years. "We are working on reducing this time margin", stated Dr. Maguregi.

Restoration and conservation of artistic heritage

Artistic heritage is the other important sphere of work within this line of research on fine arts. Dr. Maguregi explained that, as with the signatures o
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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