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

n contracts, chemical analysis can also date and authenticate paintings that are several centuries old: "In the XVI-XVIII centuries above all, each painter had his or her paint palette and his or her pigments, apart from specific techniques. For example, coming across pigments invented after the XIX century in such a painting is an anachronism and means that the work is not authentic or is wrongly dated".

As regards the conservation of artistic heritage, chemical analysis acts to minimise risks when restoring a work of art. "If, for example, we wish to remove ageing varnish from a painting and not damage the underlying original, we would need a suitable solvent and to this end we need to know its chemical composition. It is essential to know the chemical nature of the materials we are dealing with", stated Dr. Maguregi.

Much more than art

The line of research in fine arts may be the most striking and novel of this research team, but it is just one of three being worked on by Ms Rosa Alonso's group, the others being pharmaceutical drugs and the environment and industry.

The pharmaceutical drugs research line was, precisely, the starting point for this research team. They are currently especially focused on developing chromatography-based methodologies, enabling the monitoring of patients with metabolic syndrome (high glucose or cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.) and seeing what effect the various pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for these conditions have on them. According to Dr. Alonso, the technique involves "seeing, for example, if, when a treatment does not work, this is due to interactions between different medications".

As regards the environment and industry line of research, they started as a result of working with a number of enterprises in the chemical sector. One of their specialities is developing new methodologies for quality control: "With new instrumentation an awful lot can be gained in terms of tim
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Contact: Amaia Portugal
a.portugal@elhuyar.com
34-943-363-040
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert

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