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Daily Dutch News in English

World-famous works of art unravelled with the help of science

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research is bringing scientists, museums and curators from throughout the world together to do research into the conservation and restoration of works of art. The Science4Arts programme has awarded funding to six projects. Works such as paintings by Van Gogh and Rembrandt, ancient Mexican pictographic stories and modern photographic art will be examined in greater detail. A total of 3.6 million euros has been made available for the research.

The programme Science4Arts is a joint initiative of NWO’s Division for the Humanities and the Divisions for Chemical and Physical Sciences. The research programme focuses on studies of the physical and chemical changes in works of art, the significance and content of the artistic object concerned, and the context of the work of art. Within each of the projects scientists from various disciplines work together with experts from the world of art.

NWO’s partners in this programme include the American National Science Foundation (NSF) and the French IPANEMA, the synchrotron facility for old objects. NWO has made 3.6 million euros available for the projects (of which 600,000 euros for the collaboration with the US). One or more co-funding museums are involved in each project.