A group of chemists at the University of Florence have devised a technique to prevent decay of old frescoes using nanoparticles of slaked lime. Frescoes are made by applying pigments onto the damp plaster on a wall. As the plaster dries, the pigments held fast into the base. But, dampness and other environmental factors have damaged many of these frescoes. Researchers have used slaked lime suspension in alcohol to reaffirm the flaking paint. As the alcohol evaporates, the crystals of calcium hydroxide absorb water and carbon dioxide. The chemical then merges with the calcium carbonate in the paint layer and bind it together to keep the pigment intact (Science , June 8).
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.