The bacteria have been set to work, restoring the murals of the Church of Santos Juanes, which were badly damaged in a fire in 1936 and then shoddily patched up in the 1960s.
One of the problems facing the restorers is the presence of little white scabs of salt on the paintings. Salt crystals often form on old frescoes, due to evaporation as time passes.
Bacteria to the rescue
The restorers applied a very special gel, developed by an Italian microbiologist, containing a bacteria which eats salt for breakfast.
All it took was an hour and a half, and the bacteria had eaten the offending salt crystals, leaving a clean and dry surface.
Mother nature’s cleaning crew
Previous restoring operations have had to rely on chemicals or lots and lots of rubbing.
The problem with these chemicals is that in order to do the job, the chemical has to react with the surface. Unfortunately, the reaction can end up being a little aggressive, removing more than just the unwanted layer. The chemicals can also potentially “damage” the human restorers.
Rubbing takes forever, and also often ends up rubbing off more than just the offending salt crystals.
The bacteria cleaning crew were extremely quick and didn’t damage the painting or the people.
There is a bacteria somewhere that can eat it
Bacteria have evolved to survive in every nook and cranny of the world. What gives them these remarkable powers, is their capacity to eat – EVERYTHING !
Biotechnology is the field of science, which is interested in contracting with these remarkable bugs, to create better products and services for us.
Cultivate your clean up team
Our bodies carry an ENORMOUS team of bacteria, scientists estimate the number is in the region of about 1000 trillium. They help you to digest everything you eat, and in the process, boost your overall health and well being.
So restore your own walls by cultivating your micoflora.
Bacteria that clean art – press release appearing on AlphaGalileo
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