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Cleaning the Parthenon

As part of the Acropolis restoration [1], research is being done into the use of lasers [2] for cleaning the structural elements of the building in a similar way to the sculptures.

Russia Today [3]

November 6, 2008, 17:05
Athens’ Acropolis to shine again

One of the world’s most cherished monuments is undergoing a long-overdue and well-deserved pampering.

Decades of pollution from cars and industry wreaked upon on the Greek capital have caused a dense, black coating encrusting the marble of the temples of the Acropolis.

For years Greek experts have been searching for a method to uncover what’s hidden beneath the unsightly coating and restore the treasured monument to its former glory.

The director of the Acropolis Restoration Service, Maria Loan-Nidou, said: “The effect of pollution is very serious. It destroys sculptural, structural and painting detail. One of our aims is to regain these cultural details using new technology.”

Numerous technologies have been tried and tested to rid the magnificent monument of the black coating, but all had left grey and yellow tones on the marble.

Finally, thanks to an innovative dual-laser system, the temples will get a chance to once again look as they should, with the vibrant colours of painting and fine ornamentation from the 5th century BC exposed once more.

Loan-Nidou and her team are now on the second phase of the restoration project. They are not only removing decades of pollution and soot from earlier fires, but also the blunders of former restorers who attempted to repair the roof using cement.

They are also installing a system of sensors to monitor the effects of earthquakes, which in Greece have often impacted upon on ancient buildings.

Gabrielle Pickard for RT