Quanta System, a manufacturer of medical, industrial and scientific lasers in Varese, Italy, has donated a special laser for fine arts conservation to Pope Benedict XVI. A donation ceremony was held on April 17 in Rome at the annual meeting of the company.
The Thunder ART laser will be used for restoring important masterpieces of Michelangelo in the Paoline Chapel. This system differentiates itself from those already operative in the Holy See by having a UV wavelength; besides infrared and green, its UV rays will be experimented with and then used in restoration works of polychromatic surfaces, for example on paintings and frescoes.
The donation occurred only after the company had gained the trust of the Vatican Museums and the whole Restoration Team, which have been working for several years with Quanta System machines and with lasers of its parent company, El.En. Group.
At the end of the donation ceremony, the laser was switched on and generated the first light rays, using Bluetooth commands, through a digital keypad with the image of the Sistina Chapel in background. The software menu for the occasion was written in Latin.
Using Quanta System lasers, numerous masterpieces have been given new life. Cleaning examples include the Brandburgh Door in Berlin, the Saint Stephen Cathedral in Wien, the Paper's Door of the Ducal Palace in Venice, and recently the stuccos of the Paolina Chapel, which is the private chapel of the Pope.