An innovative laser restoration tool for non-contact cleaning of painted artworks is developed. Accurate beam manipulation techniques in combination with on-line detection make the system suitable for selective cleaning of delicate surfaces. The utilisation of lasers obviates the use of various chemicals, and provides a method to remove layers that are untreatable using conventional methods. The first professional laser cleaning station for paintings is equipped with a modern mechatronic engineering tool for accurate beam manipulation ('optical arm'). An intelligent combination of software and hardware enables accurate control, necessary to deal with the variable properties of the artworks to be treated. An on-line monitoring system is incorporated, using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. The user interface plays an important role in simulating the 'hands-on' treatment. In January 1999, the 2-year European co-operative research project 'Advanced workstations for controlled laser cleaning of artworks' started. The research objective is to define the boundary conditions in which laser cleaning with the present technology can be safely applied.
J. Cultural Heritage

Scholten, J. H., Teule, J. M., Zafiropulos, V., & Heeren, R. (2000). Controlled laser cleaning of painted artworks using accurate beam manipulation and on-line LIBS-detection. J. Cultural Heritage, 1, 215–220. doi:10.1016/S1296-2074(00)00142-4