Damaging biocides can be detected on old wooden sculptures, hidden wall paintings can be made visible again and the layered structures of pieces of art analyzed. Using terahertz scanners restorers will soon be able to identify quickly, and completely non-destructively, what is happening with an object of art. Fraunhofer scientists will introduce a new generation of such scanners at the denkmal trade fair (Hall 2, H30), from November 22 - 24 in Leipzig, Germany.
It was a special moment for Michael Panzner of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden, Germany and his partners: in the Dresden Hygiene Museum the scientists were examining a wall picture by Gerhard Richter that had been believed lost long ago. Shortly before leaving the German Democratic Republic the artist had left it behind as a journeyman‘s project. Then, in the 1960s, it was unceremoniously painted over. However, instead of being interested in the picture, Panzer was far more interested in the new detector which was being used for the first time here. Using it, the scientists gained important information about the layered structure of the wall and the structure of the picture area being examined.