Using Science to Preserve Art at the National Theater

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    Las Muses II: National Theater of Costa Rica

    Teachers and students of the Medical and Water Mycology section of the Faculty of Microbiology of the University of Costa Rica participate in scientific research projects to establish the degree of deterioration and its causes in pictorial works.

    The Art Research Institute is the unit responsible for the project, and doctors Daniela Jaikel and Mauricio Redondo, teachers of the Faculty of Microbiology together with the Mariamalia Cob microbiologist from the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health and Students in their work Final of graduation, they work since 2020 in the isolation and identification of microorganisms from paintings located in the hall of the National Theater, specifically in the works Musas I and Muses II.

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    The microbiological analysis in the works of art allows knowing what the dynamics of growth of the population of bacteria and fungi in the paintings is, and being able to offer measures to attack that degradation and permanent and practical solutions.

    The microbiologist Daniela Jaikel points out that detecting microorganisms is extremely important because the deterioration of the works can be stopped, and preserve the cultural heritage located in this case at the National Theater.

    Costa Rica is a tropical, very humid country and this type of art works are very exposed to fungi or bacteria, which accelerates its deterioration. Hence it is the importance of this microbiological analysis, for the conservation of heritage.

    It also works on aerobiological samples, to know the concentration of fungi spores in the air to correlate them with the spores that are in the paintings and to determine the quality of the air that the officials and visitors of the theater breathe and that can affect the health, added the UCR microbiologist.

    Dr. Jaikel added that, in collaboration with the UCR Atomic Sciences Research Center, this year she initiated another project to study through a multidisciplinary platform original works of art. Thus, possible falsifications can be classified to establish indicators that allow assessing the authenticity of the work of the landscaper Fausto Pacheco.}

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