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CONDITION ASSESSMENT OF TWO FIRE-DAMAGED HISTORICAL MARBLE SCULPTURES FROM BODE MUSEUM IN BERLIN BY NONDESTRUCTIVE ULTRASONIC TECHNIQUE

By April 10, 2024New, Vol. 10.2

by Abdelraheem, A. and Simon, S.

ABSTRACT

Stone artworks, especially those made of marble, usually suffer significant damage when exposed to fire. To conserve such fire-damaged artworks, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive assessment of their condi-tion using appropriate methods to provide the basic information necessary for their conservation. This study aims to assess the condition of important historical marble sculptures from the sculpture collection of the Ber-lin State Museums, which were exposed to two disastrous fires in the last days of the Second World War. Despite the great importance of these historical sculptures and the serious damage they suffer due to exposure to fire, many of them still lack adequate condition assessment. The study therefore presents a simple, fast, and effective method to evaluate the condition of the sculptures using nondestructive ultrasonic technique, based on an improved damage classification system developed previously by the first author. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of ultrasonic technique in assessing the condition of marble sculptures. The general condition of the studied sculptures was assessed and the level of damage in each part was determined and mapped on the sculptures. Consequently, appropriate conservation procedures for the sculptures were suggested, depending on the extent of their damage. This allows specialists to identify the appropriate measures to preserve the sculptures and to plan and prioritize the necessary conservation interventions. The results of ultrasonic velocity measurements also provide a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of future con-servation treatments and monitoring the condition of the sculptures in the long term.

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