54724 - Chemical Diagnostics for Cultural Heritage

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Basic skills in the use of analytical methodologies for the chemical characterization and state of conservation of cultural heritage materials.

Course contents

Purpose and cultural heritage context. Non-destructive and micro-destructive analytical methods. Surface analysis. Optical, scanning electron and FTIR microscopy.Analysis of elemental composition and crystalline structure.Analysis of organic materials (binding media, varniches and adhesives). Application of scientific methods to the solution of conservation and restoration problems.


1. Lecture notes and ppt presentations
2. Scientific examination for the investigation of paintings. A handbook for conservator-restorers. D. Pinna. M. Galeotti, R. Mazzeo (Ed). 2009, Centro Di, Firenze
3. M.Matteini, A.Moles. La chimica del restauro.I materiali dell'arte pittorica, Nardini editore, Firenze 1993, 3° edizione.
4..Monumenti in bronzo esposti all'aperto:esperienze di conservazione e restauro. a cura di P.Letardi, I.Trentin, G.Guida, Nardini editore, Firenze 2004 (con CDROM allegato)
5..R. Mazzeo, “Patine su manufatti metallici” in Le patine: genesi significato e conservazione, Nardini Editore, Kermesquaderni, pp.29-43, 2005

Teaching methods

The use of the different non destructive and micro destructive analitycal techniques for the characterization of the material composition and state of conservation of cultural heritage materials (stone monuments, polychore surfaces, metals and alloys) will be presented and discussed.

Assessment methods

Oral examination

Teaching tools

Course lectures providing a basic understanding of the scientific methods in conservation as well as deontological, methodological aspects and new approaches in conservation science.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Rocco Mazzeo