Cleaning Pictorial Heritag: Management and Dissemination of Cleaning Records and Stratigraphic Data
Barros García, J. M.
Guillén Juan, C. M.
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At present, the process of documentation can be considered the cornerstone of the different tasks within the field of conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. However, this is not the case with cleaning. Despite its importance in the conservation of pictorial heritage, little effort has been made to improve the management and dissemination of information. Cleaning is one of the most usual procedures, yet, at the same time, it is also one of the most problematic and controversial. Therefore, it would be very useful that the information generated by cleaning could be widely disseminated and serve as reference for researchers and conservators around the world. When a conservator carries out a cleaning operation on a painting, two kinds of interrelated data are produced: stratigraphic data and cleaning records. Stratigraphic data are those concerning the configuration and composition of the stratigraphic structure on which the cleaning is carried out. Cleaning records gather together data concerning the actual cleaning process. All this information is key for conservators when working on other paintings. The information published is usually insufficient to understand how the intervention was carried out, so there is a need for standardized systems which allow a great deal of information to be gathered and disseminated with ease. This paper explains a selection of proposals, some of which are already in use, and others which are being developed: stratigraphic unit recording sheets, solubility test recording sheets and stratigraphic diagrams.
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