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Research on the use of CT Scanning on wooden artefacts

The wooden sculpture is an important part of our cultural heritage. There are currently extensive studies on wooden sculpture focused on techniques of polychromy. Studies of the internal structures are usually more complex. They are usually made by radiographic techniques in order to study the state of conservation. These studies are difficult to interpret and the information provided is limited, due to the fact that radiography gives an image superimposed on the entire volume of the sculpture.

Thus, the information provided by radiography, although it has some use for study of polychrome, is very limited in terms of the making process and the state of conservation. This means that there is limited research into the making process of wooden sculpture. This, along with the fact that there are no historical sources - such as records or manuals, which describe how the sculptures were carved, as often happens with painting, means that there is a significant lack of knowlege about the making process.

The Unidad de Conservación, Restauración e Investigación de CulturArts (IVC+R), the Servicio de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales of the Diputación de Castellón (SCRBC), and the Servicio de Radiodiagnóstico del Consorcio Hospitalario Provincial de Castellón, are carring out research in order to study the feasibility of computerized tomography (CT) used for medical diagnostics as technique for the analysis applied to wooden sculpture. The results of this collaboration are concluding that CT used in medicine is a method of analysis and study that provides valuable information about internal structure, making process and state of conservation, and is a valuable tool for design restoration process.

However, the potential of this kind of study goes further because it can provide important information and be a powerful tool in other specific areas of the conservation of cultural heritage. The project aims to deepen the implementation of CT medical scanning as a technique for studying wooden sculpture focusing on five main objectives:

1. Application of CT to the diagnosis before restoration process in order to design the most appropriate intervention approach.
2. Its application to historical-artistic studies from the study of making processes and presence reconstructions.
3. To support the establishment of procedures focused on preventive conservation.
4. As a tool for the dissemination and enhancement of historical and artistic heritage.
5. Protocols and working documents will be developed to enable the widespread use of CT used in medicine on cultural heritage.

For more information visit: https://sites.google.com/site/ctwoodensculpture/

SUBMITTED BY: David David AUTHOR: David JuanesORIGINAL PUBLISHED DATE: 2/15/2016

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