Investigation of the conservation-treatment methods of the Dutch National Monument: The role of microscopy
van Hees, R.P.J.
The Dutch National Monument in Amsterdam, a World War-II memorial structure, was built with an outer face consisting of slabs of travertine. In 1995, the masonry structure forming the core of the monument showed severe deterioration. In order to determine the actual cause of deterioration and to advise on the most suitable method of restoration, an extensive investigation was carried out on the monument itself and on samples removed from it. The action of frost was found to be the primary cause of the deterioration to the brick structure. The travertine slabs and sculpture showed decay in the form of cracks and of smoothening of the sculptural details (superficial loss of material). For purposes of restoration, the monument was completely dismantled and the inner masonry structure was replaced with prefabricated concrete. The sculptures (statues and reliefs) were treated with a special acrylic resin (polymethyl metha-acrylate, PMMA) in order to conserve them. Polarizing and Fluorescent Microscopy (PFM) was used in all phases of the investigation. The technique was found to be an excellent tool for such investigations. This article deals with various aspects of the investigation where PFM played a key role, such as the diagnosis of the cause of the surface deterioration of the travertine and the evaluation of the effectiveness of impregnation treatment methods of the sculptures.
Architecture and Building
To reference this document use:
Polarizing-fluorescent microscopy (PFM)
Delft Univ of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Heron, 44 (4), 271-284
7th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, June 29-July 2