TEMART: Tuscany develops technologies to preserve world heritage treasures
A project based in Tuscany, Italy has developed a range of innovative technologies and methods for restoring and conserving cultural treasures across the world. The TEMART consortium brought together research institutes and private companies in a technological development platform to create analytical instruments, share knowledge, manage data and provide tutoring.
" This project fostered a step-change in the development of analytical instruments for the material characterisation and conservation of cultural heritage by exploiting the potential of the key enabling technologies. "
The analytical investigations conducted through TEMART provided a better understanding of what makes works of art deteriorate. The project used this information to introduce and promote non-invasive, low impact preservation strategies.
The project developed prototypes of a number of technologies, including novel 3D scanning instruments and a 3D microscope for analytical activities; a laser beam system for use in conservation work; new nanostructured gels for the gentle removal of dirt and unwanted polymers from paintings; and a microwave biocide tool for the removal of bio-detergents from stone artifacts. Dedicated software associated with TEMART’s technologies was also developed.
Some of the tools – such as the laser system, scanner and nanotechnologies – proved effective enough to be marketed after the project closed. For example, the laser technologies developed through TEMART are being marketed in Europe, USA and China.
In addition, the main industrial partner has become a market leader in laser systems for use in restoration work. Demand for the product has led the company to create a dedicated production line and rental service. Meanwhile, the 3D microscope has been patented and further improved in a transfer project.
TEMART implemented a service infrastructure (IS-TEMART) to validate, promote and exploit its results. The project instruments and techniques were demonstrated in several case studies, to showcase them to conservators and museum managers.
Research institutes involved in TEMART have gone on to do similar work in other EU-funded projects dedicated to the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “TEMART” is EUR 5 000 000 (Contribution: EUR 3 260 000), with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 069 280 through the “Tuscany” Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Research and development, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship”.