Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Process for dissolving carbonate crystals in cultural heritage artworks



A method for the removal of calcium carbonate crystals (CaCO3) on surface of cultural heritage artworks, by means of treatment with a light source at a specific wavelength. The method is applicable to paintings, frescoes, prints, mosaics, sculptures, monuments.

Technical features

Artworks are constantly subjected to deterioration mainly due to instability of the materials, water soluble salts, humidity, temperature conditions, atmospheric pollutants and biological action. Unwanted formation of CaCO3 can occur, which contributes to artwork deterioration and toxic method can be necessary for its removal. In the present invention, the crystallised CaCO3 on the surface of cultural heritage artworks is treated with a specific product and the crystals are irradiated by means of a light source at a specific wavelength. Thanks to this process, pH perceptibly decreases, and it causes the dissolution of CaCO3 in a more precise and safe cleaning way.

Possible Applications

  • Method for paintings, frescoes, drawings, prints, mosaics, historical monuments and buildings, as well as archaeological sites.


  • More precise and safe cleaning process;
  • Less toxic method.