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For experts who occupy themselves with examining and conserving artistic, cultural or natural history artifacts, precise viewing is the most important requirement for successful work. In particular, non-contact and thus non-destructive methods such as light microscopy play an important role when working on these irreplaceable originals. However, the precision of a microscope is also often indispensable for restoring, conserving, documenting and analysing specimens of different materials.

  • Myths Under the Microscope: The Restoration of Celtic Finds

    The find of an almost life-sized sandstone statue of a Celtic "prince" in Glauberg in the German state of Hessen marked the beginning of an exciting journey to the early Celtic past of the 5th century BC, an age rich in myths and mystery due to the absence of written records. With their meticulous restoration of the valuable finds under the stereo microscope, restorers are helping to piece together the puzzle of our Celtic ancestors.
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  • Four Paintings Magnified

    Through a period of two years an international research team has studied four almost identical paintings from the 16th century. The four paintings examined are alike yet different variations on a theme – Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple and were made with different purposes, answering to the demands of a booming 16th-century Antwerp art market.
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  • Where the Germanic Forces Beat the Romans

    “Germanic barbarians defeat super army!” That is the kind of news headline you might have seen in the year 9 AD about the victory of the Germanic tribes over three Roman legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is regarded as one of the most momentous battles of antiquity, and for a long time scientists have puzzled over where the fighting may have taken place.
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  • Ancient Feast of Color

    Everyone knows that antique marble sculptures were white. Or were they? Scientists of the Copenhagen Polychromy Network (CPN) help to show that the statues of the Greeks and Romans were decorated with extravagant ornaments and sumptuous colours. With the help of a surgical microscope and digital microscopy, the conservators detect tiny traces of paint pigment that suggest a veritable feast of colour in ancient times.
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  • Restoring Former Glory with Cotton Buds and a Microscope – The Princely Collections of Liechtenstein

    On her way to work, Ruth Klebel is often approached by tourists asking for the times of guided tours. She always gives the same answer before disappearing behind the wide automatic gate: “I’m afraid there aren’t any, this is private property.” As a restorer of the collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Klebel is one of the very few people who regularly come and go at Vaduz Castle without actually living here.
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  • Restoration in an Open Workshop

    For more than a year from August 2007 through October 2008 museum visitors of the Statens Museum for Kunst, the Danish National Gallery in Copenhagen, were able to experience an open conservation studio in the exhibition area. The reason for bringing the conservators and all their equipment into the exhibition rooms of the museum was the conservation, restoration and technical research of Jacob Jordaens’ (1593 – 1678) early masterpiece “The Tribute Money. Peter Finding the Silver Coin in the Mouth of the Fish”, also known as “The Ferry Boat to Antwerp”.
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  • Save Our Memory

    In 1852 Leopoldo Alinari, with his brothers Giuseppe and Romualdo, founded a photographic workshop in Florence, which is at the heart of the firm that still bears his name: Fratelli Alinari. It was the beginning of a unique endeavour that specialised in photographic portraiture, works of art and historical monuments, achieving national and international recognition.
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  • Antique Underwater Treasures Endangered

    In the 2nd century BC, Baiae in the Gulf of Naples was a notorious bathing resort and spa for wealthy Romans. Today, part of the town is submerged under the sea and can be visited as an 80,000 square metre archaeological underwater park. The magnificent mosaics from the underwater ruins are analysed at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro (ISCR) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities in Rome.
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Useful Links

Data Bases and Institutions Database of the Conservation Information Network - Conservation & Art Material Encyclopedia Online OnLine - Resources for Conservation Professionals for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) - Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage and Albert Museum Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Intitute of Conservation - The International Council of Museums

Journals of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC) Magazine in Conservation Restauro Anterior

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