Art objects form an essential part of cultural heritage and are appreciated for their artistic values. However, the observed investment in art and capacity for high monetary returns encourages counterfeiting of art objects. The art market's lack of transparency and traditional confidential protocols amplifies the problem. Radiocarbon analysis provides a tool to detect anachronistic materials. Measurement of bomb peak radiocarbon, which was observed in the atmosphere during the last 70 years, can provide clear evidence of post-1950 material. Here we briefly introduce the method and discuss its application in detecting forgeries. Three accelerator mass spectrometry AMS laboratories performed a 14C dating inter-comparison study on the material used in art. Results obtained on modern cotton paper, two antique sheets of paper, one parchment, and one textile demonstrate the radiocarbon dating capacity to date the material accurately. The excellent agreement between laboratories is crucial for the broader application of this scientific tool in forensic studies and court cases.

The potential of radiocarbon analysis for the detection of art forgeries

Calcagnile L.;Quarta G.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Art objects form an essential part of cultural heritage and are appreciated for their artistic values. However, the observed investment in art and capacity for high monetary returns encourages counterfeiting of art objects. The art market's lack of transparency and traditional confidential protocols amplifies the problem. Radiocarbon analysis provides a tool to detect anachronistic materials. Measurement of bomb peak radiocarbon, which was observed in the atmosphere during the last 70 years, can provide clear evidence of post-1950 material. Here we briefly introduce the method and discuss its application in detecting forgeries. Three accelerator mass spectrometry AMS laboratories performed a 14C dating inter-comparison study on the material used in art. Results obtained on modern cotton paper, two antique sheets of paper, one parchment, and one textile demonstrate the radiocarbon dating capacity to date the material accurately. The excellent agreement between laboratories is crucial for the broader application of this scientific tool in forensic studies and court cases.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/466449
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