NANORESTART NANOmaterials for the REStoration of works of ART

June 2015 – November 2018

Richard Smith Piano 1963

Richard Smith
Piano 1963
© Richard Smith, 2012
A contemporary artwork, requiring occasional cleaning, that may benefit from the use of advanced cleaning agents

NANORESTART will develop a range of materials based on nanotechnologies to support the long term protection and continued access to modern and contemporary cultural heritage. The project will also take into account the environmental and human risks of such materials as well as application feasibility and materials costs. 

The new tools and materials developed will focus on:

(i)             tools for controlled cleaning, such as highly-retentive gels for the confinement of enzymes and nanostructured fluids based on green surfactants;

(ii)            the strengthening and protection of surfaces by using nanocontainers, nanoparticles and supramolecular systems and assemblies;

(iii)           nanostructured substrates and sensors for enhanced molecular detection, and;

(iv)           the evaluation of the environmental impact of the developed materials and the development of measures for long lasting conservation of cultural heritage. 

NANORESTART gathers centres of excellence in the field of synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials. Partners are drawn from chemical Industries and SMEs operating in R&D, as well as International centres for collection care and education. Tate are directly participating in the research associated with the development and evaluation of novel cleaning systems. These materials incorporate enhanced or new properties specifically designed to address the challenges associated with cleaning modern and contemporary art. The research will involve the formulation and testing of nanostructured cleaning fluids which pose a reduced risk of residue deposits by the use of self-degrading surfactants or even surfactant-free systems. The cleaning materials will be evaluated using a range of prepared test samples and through research related to case studies of works of art from Tate’s collection. 

The NANORESART project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646063.

Project Partners

NANORESTART is 3.5 year collaborative research project (2015–2018) funded under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (grant agreement number 646063) 

Project Information

Project type
Research project
Lead department
Conservation Science
Support department
Tate Conservation
Project leader
Prof. Piero Baglioni, Director of Center for Colloid and Surface Science, Florence, Italy
Project team
Bronwyn Ormsby, Principal Conservation Scientist
Angelica Bartoletti, Conservation Science Researcher, Nanorestart (Feb 2017 to Dec 2017)
Pip Laurenson, Head of Collection Care Research
Luigi Galimberti, Collection Care Research Manager (from March 2017)
Gates Sofer, Sculpture Conservator
Rachel Barker, Painting Conservator
Tamar Maor, Sculpture Conservator​
Lora Angelova, Conservation Science Researcher, Nanorestart (Jan 2016 to Feb 2017)
John McNeill, Collection Care Research Manager (until March 2017)

Nano What?: Nanotechnology, contemporary art and the NANORESTART project at Tate

We often think of plastic objects as indestructible, and most of us don’t imagine that they would be very ...

The Shortlist: Selecting case study candidates for the NANORESTART project

Project update about shortlisting and selecting case study candidates for Tate's NANORESTART project

A conservation challenge, an Op art sculpture, and a mystery artist

NANORESTART – a multinational research initiative to introduce nanotechnology solutions to the conservation and preservation challenges of modern and contemporary art ...

Testing Our Limits: Cleaning trials on plastics

Project update exploring nanotechnology, contemporary art and the NANORESTART project at Tate

The Results Are In: The treatment of Op Structure by Michael Dillon

At last, after months of preparation, evaluation, and testing, we were finally ready to approach the surface cleaning treatment of ...

From Op Art to Pop Art: The NANORESTART team takes on Lichtenstein’s Whaam!

Project update exploring nanotechnology, contemporary art and the NANORESTART project at Tate

Event at Tate Modern: The Nanorestart Project Team at Tate Modern, 14 June 2017

Second Nanorestart Consortium Meeting,Tate Modern, 14 June 2017

Series, Serial, Serial Art: Preliminary analysis of Eva Hesse 'Addendum' 1967

The third case study of NANORESTART has commenced, thanks to the curators at Tate Modern deinstalling Eva Hesse Addendum 1967 ...

Rock up, Mock up: Progress in the characterisation of Eva Hesse's Addendum

At Tate we have been hard at work progressing the characterisation of Addendum, making the mock-ups for the cleaning test ...

Gels in Conservation Talk: London, Tuesday 17 October

Tate staff presented case study cleaning treatments carried out within the NANORESTART project

Progress as Long as a Rope!: Testing the cleaning systems

We have been focusing on researching more into Eva Hesse’s practice, finalising the mock-ups and carrying out our extensive ...

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Tate AXA Art Modern Paints Project (TAAMPP): Evaluating the Effects of Cleaning Acrylic Paintings

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