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Biocleaning of animal glue on wall paintings by Pseudomonas stutzeri


*Corresponding author
1. IRP, Universitat Politècnica de València Camino de vera, s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2. Universitat Politècnica de València, Biotechnology Department, Camino de vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain


The article focuses on the Biocleaning of indoor wall paintings subjected to animal glue alterations applied in old restorations. The cleaning difficulties by traditional restoration methods make biocleaning to be a remarkable alternative. Biocleaning is a cleaning strategy that uses a viable non-toxic bacteria strategy.
Presented in this article is the research about the Pseudomonas stutzeri cleaning of animal glue from the eighteen-century wall paintings of the Santos Juanes church of Valencia, Spain.


Cultural Heritage surfaces can be subjected to damage due to wrong restorations. Organic substances applied by earlier restoration treatments can produce important pathologies in the artworks - like darkening, yellowing, dirt retention, desquamation, permeability modification - which can greatly modify the fresco aesthetics and even lose pictorial fragments. These substances can include natural compounds such as animal, vegetable glues, egg casein, walnut etc.
The idea of utilizing bacterial cells for the restoration phase of works of art, evolved due to the fact that the majority of the microorganisms have a positive role, with a minority of these causing biodeterioration. This positive use of microorganisms for the clean of cultural heritage is called: Biocleaning.
Biocleaning shows advantages over traditional restoration methods, mainly when the substances to be cleaned are difficult to remove. In these cases, chemical restoration methods are not specific and can be aggressive to the artwork. To degrade complex molecules, a mixture of enzymes is required. This mixture, however, is sometimes not av ...

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