Nanomaterials and advanced solutions for the restoration of Cultural Heritage

Recent achievements obtained in the framework of four EU-funded projects, NANORESTART, NANOCATHEDRAL, INNOVACONCRETE and NEMOSINE will be presented. These projects are focused on the development of new affordable, sustainable and cost-effective solutions for the conservation of cultural heritage. The NANORESTART project is focused on the synthesis of novel poly-functional nanomaterials and on the development of highly innovative restoration techniques to address the conservation of a wide variety of materials largely used by contemporary artists. In fact, contemporary art is a major challenge for conservators since there is a significant lack of established conservation methodologies that can safely tackle the often extremely fast degradation of materials used by contemporary artists. In NANOCATHEDRAL, innovative materials, such as nanoparticle based consolidants and proper polymer nanocomposite-based coatings have been assessed and tested for the consolidation and protection of stone architectural heritage. The research is enriched by the environmental impact assessment of the new materials, to ensure development of sustainable and compatible materials and methods. INNOVACONCRETE aims at preserving concrete-based monuments, the most significant, tangible, cultural heritage in the 20 th century. An innovative approach based on producing in situ, by impregnation treatments, C-S-H gel, which is responsible for the engineering properties of cement paste in cracks of decayed concrete monuments, is proposed. NEMOSINE provides innovative packaging solutions for storage and conservation of 20th century cultural heritage of artefacts based on cellulose derivative, such as movies, photographies, posters and slides. NEMOSINE aims to develop a novel packaging system for releasing non-aggressive active substances and moisture adsorbents to minimize the growing of fungus such as nanoparticles and antifungal peptides, using a long-term protection and a curative treatment approach done through a smart "modular" design and chemical detection sensors.