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Diagnostics of microbial violators of cultural heritage

21. 12. 2023 | 258 visits

The objects and works of art of our cultural heritage cannot be saved by computers and digitization alone. It is important to find a new way to protect historical art from the process of biodegradation in order to ensure the protection of cultural heritage for future generations. Scientists from the Slovak Academy of Sciences have been researching the protection of our precious monuments for years.

"In a recent study, we used microbiological and modern molecular approaches to deepen our understanding of the undesirable discolouration of historical books and archival documents caused by microorganisms. Powerful parallel sequencing made it possible to reveal the complex biological connection between different species of bacteria and fungi and to find out what causes staining and damage to our written cultural heritage," explains Jelena Pavlović of the Institute of Molecular Biology SAS.

In order to preserve the heritage left by our ancestors, it is also important to find a way to restore damaged objects in a none-invasive way.

"In another study, we proposed a method in which we use an extracellular enzymatic mixture isolated from microorganisms to remove stamps from books. This finding is especially valuable for restorers in libraries who need to remove the stamp of specific institutions in the first step of the restoration process. Our commitment is not only to find out what causes biodegradation, but also to develop practical solutions to protect our cultural treasures for future generations," adds the scientist.

 

Ilustračné foto: Unsplash/Bernd Dittrich