Robot Helps Museum Restore Paintings

Phys.org

In the basement of Madrid's Reina Sofia museum, a giant robotic machine painstakingly scans a painting by Catalan surrealist artist Joan Miro, slowly snapping hundreds of microscopic shots.

The pictures taken by the machine, which uses infrared and ultraviolet photography, will help experts determine the condition of the 1974 oil on canvas painting called "Women, Bird in the Night" in unprecedented detail.

The device lets restorers see cracks, scratches and creases as well underlying preparatory sketches and all subsequent touch-ups that would be otherwise undetectable.

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