Laser

In March of 2006, the programme of cleaning the Museum’s sculptures of their atmospheric pollutants was launched, using the same methodology employed for the previous cleaning of the Parthenon’s west frieze by the Acropolis Monuments Restoration Service (YSMA) in 2002-2005. The system used was developed specifically for the Acropolis sculptures by the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) of the Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) in Crete.  It consists of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with base wavelength emission (1064nm) and 3rd harmonic radiation (355nm), capable of operating at each wavelength independently or at both lengths simultaneously. The operator’s ability to adjust the proportions between the two actions allows the safe removal of the surface deposits, without altering the ancient surfaces. To date, fifty-six sculptures and fragments in the Museum's collections have been cleaned.

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