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Nat Prod Res. 2016 Nov 23:1-6. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2016.1258555. [Epub ahead of print]

Surface and volume non-invasive methods for the structural monitoring of the bass-relief 'Madonna con Bambino' (Gorizia, Northern Italy).

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a S.T.Art-Test di S. Schiavone & C , Niscemi (CL) , Italy.
b YOuth in COnservayion of CUltural Heritage - YOCOCU , Rome , Italy.
c DipartimentoDiSTeM , University of Palermo , Palermo , Italy.
d Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science - DiBEST , University of Calabria , Rende (CS) , Italy.


Structural analysis of marble statues, carried out by non-invasive and in situ methods, is crucial to define the state of conservation of the artworks and to identify the deterioration phenomena that can affect them. In this work, we combined in situ non-destructive techniques, ultrasonic tomography (US), ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence (UV-IF) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to study the bass-relief 'Madonna con Bambino' (Gorizia, Italy). The US revealed the presence of some metallic pivots, associated with areas of high sound velocity; moreover, a more degraded area has been identified in the lower part of the bass-relief. The acquired UV-IF image confirmed the presence of surface degradation, allowing a preliminary evaluation of the extension of a fracture, from surface to bulk. In addition, the different materials (both original and/or integrations) that compose the studied surface have been identified. The XRF has contributed to define the nature of the inorganic materials applied during undocumented previous restoration works on the surface as filler for lacunae.


Non-invasive methods; UV-IF; deterioration phenomena; marble; ultrasonic tomography

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