From tiny gold filigrees to majestic iron tie rods: Neutron facilities for the benefit of cultural heritage
Dipartimento di Fisica “G. Occhialini”, Università Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 3, 20126, Milano, Italy
2 Istituto di Fisica del Plasma “P. Caldirola”, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Cozzi 53, 20125, Milano, Italy
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Accepted: 4 August 2018
Published online: 18 September 2018
Neutrons are a well-suited tool in support of heritage science: they are non-destructive and can deeply penetrate into the cultural artefacts. Concerning the archaeometallurgy field, for example, it is possible to study the mineralogical phases, the corrosion phases, the elemental composition, and also the inner morphology of metal objects. Recently, two unconventional case studies have been analysed by neutron techniques: on one hand, the analysis of very tiny gold filigrees from Chiaravalle Cross, a precious and complex jewelry masterpiece, recently restored and preserved at the Museo del Duomo di Milano; on the other hand, the study of iron tie rods from Milan Cathedral acting as static consolidation among pillars. Strength and weaknesses of the techniques will be highlighted, to focus the benefits of neutrons in the cultural heritage field.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature, 2018