I invite international researchers and training students to apply technical art examination methods to field projects in Sicily that I’m already working on with other scientists and Sicilian professionals in the cultural heritage sector. Two weeks ago I hosted Corinna Koch Dandolo, currently PhD student at the prestigious DTU (Technical University of Denmark) Fotonik – Department of Photonics Engineering. I already posted on her THz examination of the newly discovered frescoes in Aci Sant’Antonio. Her research focuses on developing applications for cultural heritage examination for the advanced 3D THz (Terahertz) imaging technique. This is a post about the technique “Terahertz and Art Examination.” This study has been supported by her supervisor, Prof. Peter Uhd Jepsen, leader of the ‘Terahertz Science and Technology” group, who was so kind to send Corinna for these case studies in Sicily. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first Terahertz art examinations in Sicily and one of the few in Italy.
Two days of the week were devoted to the examination of two wooden statues in the Church of Aci Sant’Antonio, Sicily. The oldest is a 1700s gilded reliquary representing Saints Paul and Peter which show sign of heavy damages, probably caused by the devastating 1693 earthquake which destroyed most of the religious buildings in the village and in the all eastern Sicily. The other statue is an example of devotional statue realized with a mixed technique using textile and gypsum and partially gilded. The goal of the THz examination was to determine the capabilities of the technique in order to understand the technique and mapping the area restored.
Special thanks to Don Vittorio for allowing us to run the examination and to Don Sebastiano and to Mr. Salvo for helping us out with the logistics of moving and setting the Picometrix THz scanner.