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Trends Biotechnol. 2005 Dec;23(12):584-8. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

The role of biotechnology in art preservation.

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1
Centro de Biotecnología, Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, MCT, Carretera Nacional Hoyo de la Puerta, Caracas, Venezuela. jramirez@reacciun.ve

Abstract

Biotechnology has played a key role in medicine, agriculture and industry for over 30 years and has advanced our understanding of the biological sciences. Furthermore, the tools of biotechnology have a great and largely untapped potential for the preservation and restoration of our cultural heritage. It is possible that these tools are not often applied in this context because of the inherent separation of the worlds of art and science; however, it is encouraging to see that during the past six years important biotechnological applications to artwork preservation have emerged and advances in biotechnology predict further innovation. In this article we describe and reflect upon a unique example of a group of scientists and art restoration technicians working together to study and treat of a piece of colonial art, and review some of the new applications in biotechnology for the preservation of mankind's cultural heritage. We predict an expansion in this field and the further development of biotechnological techniques, which will open up new opportunities to both biologists and artwork preservers.

PMID:
16243408
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibtech.2005.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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