Lasers in CH analysis, diagnosis and cleaning
In order to participate in this workshop please fill in the Registration Form.

Date of workshop: Tuesday,2 October
Time of workshop: 18:15-19.15
Duration of workshop: Half day workshop
Place: FORTH- amphitheater

In recent years complex diagnostic and restoration problems have been efficiently approached by means of laser techniques. In fact a number of laser material processing and spectroscopic methods has been specifically adapted with exceptional success to the requirements of a wide range of demanding conservation applications.

Surface cleaning, based on laser ablation, has been particularly effective for the controlled and selective removal of altered over-layers and unwanted accumulations in a variety of cases (i.e. stonework, easel paintings, icons, glass and metal objects). Among the outstanding examples is the laser-assisted removal of pollution accumulations from the sculptures of the Athens Acropolis.

Furthermore, spectroscopic techniques, such as micro-Raman, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), have been used to determine the chemical composition of materials in works of art and archaeological findings, while imaging techniques (i.e. multispectral and holographic interferometry) have been able to differentiate similar materials and reveal hidden stratigraphic information.

Illustrative examples related to laser-cleaning will be given and the prospects and limitations of lasers in Cultural Heritage restoration will be discussed. Also the prospects of employing laser analytical techniques in art conservation and archaeometry will be presented in view of recent advances on compact, portable instrumentation.

The workshop will cover:

  • An introduction to the use and applications of advanced laser-based technologies in Cultural Heritage (CH) science, diagnostics and conservation.
  • A demonstration on the combined use of LIBS and Diffuse reflectance to determine the chemical composition of CH materials
  • A demonstration on the real-time documentation of these analytical procedures using the DIAGNOSIS/POLYGNOSIS documentation platforms


Paraskevi Pouli

Paraskevi Pouli is a Researcher at IESL-FORTH, Photonics for Cultural Heritage group, in charge of developing novel laser technologies for restoration of art and antiquities. She holds a degree (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) and a Ph.D. (Loughborough University, UK) in Physics. During her PhD she was focused on “Laser cleaning studies on stonework and polychromed surfaces” while her current research interests include the investigation of laser ablation mechanisms on Cultural Heritage materials, the development of laser-cleaning methodologies on a variety of conservation challenges and their monitoring through spectral imaging, laser spectroscopic and holographic techniques. She is actively involved in a number of EU and nationally funded research projects as well as with the two Research Infrastructures operating at IESL-FORTH. Since 2001 she is responsible, on behalf of IESL-FORTH, for the laser-cleaning projects on the Athens Acropolis sculptures (i.e. the Parthenon West Frieze, the Caryatids of the Erechtheion etc.). The outcome of this collaboration is a prototype laser system and a laser cleaning methodology customarily developed in order to ensure the removal of thick pollution accumulations in a controlled and safe way for both the object and the operator. In this context the Acropolis Museum and IESL-FORTH have been awarded the 2012 Keck Award by the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC) for their collaboration regarding the “laser rejuvenation of Caryatids opens to the public at the Acropolis Museum: A link between ancient and modern Greece”.

Sophia Sotiropoulou

Sophia Sotiropoulou studied at the Physics Department of the University of Athens, she continued her postgraduate studies in Archaeometry/Physical methods in Archaeology and Museography at the Univ. of Bordeaux and received her PhD from the Chemical Engineering department of the National Technical University of Athens (2000). She is specialized in applying imaging techniques, optical, photometric and spectroscopic methods for the characterisation of materials or structures and the study of aging mechanisms. Thematic entities of particular experience include Aegean and East Mediterranean Archaeology with focus on the characterization of paint surfaces (including optical, chemical and visually perceptible properties) of heritage objects. She has been involved in developing strategies and optimising site-dependent or object-specific multi-technique analytical approaches in answering concrete questions raised in the course of excavation or conservation projects or laboratory methodical work. She focuses on the interpretation and integration of analytical data into the overall documentation and management of heritage collections. Additionally, she is active in research related to Museum lighting, studying the quality and role of lighting in the preservation and visual appreciation of museum objects in display.

Panagiotis Siozos

Panagiotis Siozos (PhD in the field of interaction of strong laser pulses with molecules from Physics Department, University of Ioannina, Greece). He has research experience for over ten years in various research fields related to laser-physics and he is involved in a number of research projects having a significant number of publications and participation in conferences. Currently he is working at IESL-FORTH as research assistant. His research interests include the development and optimization of mobile instrumentation on laser and optical spectroscopic methods (i.e. LIBS, Raman and Diffuse Reflectance) with emphasis to the development of analytical methodologies for their broad implementation in the study and investigation of Cultural Heritage materials (i.e. automatic detection of chemical elements and characterisation of LIBS spectra etc.).

Aggelos Philippidis

Aggelos Philippidis received his Doctorate degree from Chemistry Department, University of Crete, Greece, in 2009. His thesis was on the study of molecular compounds metal-chalcogenides: Synthesis, Characterization and study of their solution chemistry. He received his master degree from the same department, in 2003. At that period he has investigated the geographical and botanical classification of Greek extra virgin olive oil by NMR spectroscopy and chemometrics. He received his B.Sc. degree from the same department, in 2001. He is currently performing his post-doctoral studies at IESL-FORTH Crete, Greece. During his post-doctoral research he has focused on the development of a prototype Raman system for the analysis of art works and cultural heritage objects. He has published 30 articles in international refereed journals in total and 8 of them, in the field of analytical techniques and cultural heritage objects.

Kristalia Melessanaki

Kristalia Melessanaki is an art’s conservator, graduated from the School of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art in Athens (1999). She has been a staff member of IESL-FORTH since 1998, involved in several research projects and applications related to the use of laser techniques for cleaning and analysis of cultural heritage objects. Her research interests include laser spectroscopic techniques (LIF and LIBS) for the analysis and characterization of archaeological objects and works of art, laser cleaning applications on artworks (Byzantine icons, easel paintings, contemporary artworks etc.) as well as evaluation and monitoring of the cleaning interventions using spectroscopic and imaging techniques.

Demetrios Anglos

Demetrios Anglos (Chemistry: Univ. of Athens, Greece (1986), PhD, Physical Chemistry: Cornell Univ. USA (1994)) is Professor of Chemistry (Univ. of Crete) and Associated Researcher at IESL-FORTH, where he leads the Applied Spectroscopy Laboratory. The activities of his research group focus among others on the applications of laser spectroscopic techniques (LIF, LIBS, Raman spectroscopy) in the analysis of materials, with particular emphasis on the development of mobile instrumentation for CH diagnostics and analysis. He is member of the Editorial Board of Heritage Science. He has extensive experience in research and research supervision of pre- and post-doctoral researchers.