Published February 18, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Nondestructive Evaluation of Heritage Object Coatings with Four Hyperspectral Imaging Systems

  • 1. InnoRenew CoE; Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska
  • 2. InnoRenew CoE; Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska
  • 3. Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia
  • 4. InnoRenew CoE; School of Chemical Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, Aalto University
  • 5. InnoRenew CoE; Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, University of the Basque Country
  • 6. InnoRenew CoE
  • 7. InnoRenew CoE; Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia


Advanced imaging techniques can noninvasively characterise, monitor, and evaluate how conservation treatments affect cultural heritage objects. In this specific field, hyperspectral imaging allows nondestructive characterisation of materials by identifying and characterising colouring agents, binders, and protective coatings as components of an object’s original construction or later historic additions. Furthermore, hyperspectral imaging can be used to monitor deterioration or changes caused by environmental conditions. This paper examines the potential of hyperspectral imaging (HSI) for the evaluation of heritage objects. Four cameras operating in different spectral ranges were used to nondestructively scan a beehive panel painting that originated from the Slovene Ethnographic Museum collection. The specific objective of this research was to identify pigments and binders present in the samples and to spatially map the presence of these across the surface of the art piece. Merging the results with databases created in parallel using other reference methods allows for the identification of materials originally used by the artist on the panel. Later interventions to the original paintings can also be traced as part of past conservation campaigns.



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InnoRenew CoE – Renewable materials and healthy environments research and innovation centre of excellence 739574
European Commission