Introduction to special collection on New Scientific Methods for Cultural Heritage

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Science Advances  02 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaaz3323
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz3323

Warren S. Warren

Paintings fade like flowers. All the more reason boldly to use them too raw, time will only soften them too much.

Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother Theo, April 1888

He was worried about years, not centuries.

This special issue highlights new developments in a rapidly evolving, highly interdisciplinary frontier: the application of state-of-the-art technologies to enhance cultural heritage science. As an academic with a background in chemical physics, my first exposure to this opportunity was about a decade ago, when I visited the National Gallery in London and toured their exhibit on methods to detect art forgeries. I was not only impressed but also startled: It was clear that the …

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