Vatican hires tattoo removal machine to clean statues

The Vatican.

The Vatican. Image by Dennis Jarvis / CC BY-SA 2.0

When the Vatican Museum called up to hire a tattoo removal machine from a company in Cheshire, England it must have raised a few eyebrows. But the machine wasn’t needed to erase some clergyman’s ill-thought-out tattoo – instead it will be used to clean some of the Vatican’s most precious sculptures. The machine uses tiny pulses of laser radiation to break down unwanted particles, and works just as well on dirt particles on a sculpture as it does on tattoo ink on skin. It can also be used on paintings, but the process has to be much more painstaking to avoid damaging any pigments beneath the dirt. Read more:

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