There was a two days Seminar organised in the IGCAR on 23rd and 24th February 2012 named Novel and Innovative Measurements in NDE (NIM-NDE-2012). Dr. V. Jeyaraj had been invited to give a talk on Authentication of Heritage Materials and Structures.
Heritage Materials are the remnants of the past and they have to be preserved for posterity. For the preservation of structures, antiquities, etc., the materials science of the materials concerned should be studied to go in the right direction. Depending upon the material contents and composition of the objects under study, the conservation, restoration and authentication of the objects can be done to bring the objects to the pristine status. The analysis of the material content of the cultural and art objects can only be done by non-destructive methods.
The heritage materials are very important to preserve the culture of the period of a particular nation. When many try to preserve the cultural and art objects for posterity, there are art smugglers, illegal art dealers etc., who are fond of duplicating or faking the objects of rarity in order to bring in lot of wealth to them. Most of the Curators, genuine collectors, art dealers do not know the originality of the object at times. Therefore it is required to authenticate the heritage materials which they possess or buy to augment the collections. There are various methods of authentication depending upon the materials. The methods are both chemical and physical. Physical methods are non-destructive. The various instruments which are used in the non-destructive testing/analysis are mentioned besides the debate between various scientists who authenticate art works such as paintings. The author deals with methods such as photography, radiography, differential lighting, instruments to study the materials etc.
Similarly there are a set of authenticating measures in the case of structures also. There are earnest efforts taken by different institutions to define the different styles of structures period wise and authenticating them in order to preserve the original structures for posterity.