Physics professor Roman Maev was at the centre of an international conference last month to discuss the future of non-invasive technologies in conservation of artworks and the detection of forgeries.
“Analysing Art: New Technologies – New Applications” brought scientists and art professionals to Canada House in London, May 19 and 20. The conference was jointly presented by Dr. Maev’s Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research, the High Commission of Canada to the UK, and the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing.
The conference posed a great challenge, Maev says, as a multi-disciplinary event which brought together art historians, restorers and conservation specialists, and physicists and chemists ready to respond to their needs and demands.
“It was not easy to make them communicate with each other in the same language, but it seems to have worked and we managed to initiate a comprehensive dialogue between all these professional groups,” he says. “Many of these specialists were happy to learn of each other’s existence and exchange experience and knowledge.”
Organizers plan to turn the conference into a regular event, held every two years. They aim to expand it into a platform where academics, art professionals and scientists will discuss the challenges posed by conservation and restoration of art, as well as the issues of connoisseurship, research, detection of forgeries, technological development, and the accompanying legal and commercial aspects.