Restoring a Medieval Mosaic With ‘Sol’

May 30, 2006

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Working diligently to remove a gray salt layer from a million individual pieces of glass, three Czech conservators and a UCLA Engineering professor have been restoring a renowned mosaic in central Europe.

By M. Abraham

Materials science is forging its way into the future with new technologies in metallurgy, optics and nanotechnology – but one of its more surprising applications is its recent marriage with the world of medieval art.

UCLA Engineering professor Eric Bescher has been traveling to Prague for a decade now, applying a material he and his colleagues created to a mosaic titled “The Last Judgment.” The application of the substance, called sol-gel, is meant to prevent weather corrosion that could cause the pieces to be obscured forever.

Main Image: Professor Bescher works on “The Last Judgment”, applying a sol gel layer.

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