A series of laser cleaning systems are available at IESL-FORTH laboratories, fulfilling the cleaning requirements of a variety of Cultural Heritage objects and surfaces. These involve transportable cleaning systems of compact size dedicated to field interventions, as well as, sophisticated cleaning set-ups for demanding studies and objects. Monitoring and/ or evaluation modules based on laser analytical and diagnostic techniques are also available in order to follow the cleaning process and safeguard the treated objects
Surface cleaning, based on laser ablation, is particularly effective for the controlled and selective removal of altered over-layers and unwanted accumulations in a variety of CH substrates (i.e. stonework, easel paintings, icons as well as glass and metal objects). Outstanding examples of successful on-site cleaning applications include the removal of pollution encrustation from the surface of the Acropolis monuments (including the Parthenon West Frieze), the cleaning of hard and thick accumulations from excavated sculptures (i.e. the Hermes of Ancient Messene in Peloponnese and sculptures from the archaeological Museum of Aiani in Kozani), etc. Favorable cleaning interventions refer also to the removal of the outermost polymerized varnish from paintings, dirt from plaster ornaments, salt accumulations from wall-paintings and corrosion products from metals. In all these cases the successful implementation of laser ablation in cleaning interventions and materials analysis is systematically approached through preliminary studies and tailored cleaning methodologies.