Crucifix, detail showing dust

Dust and grime

This image shows heavy layers of dust on the relief figure of Christ. There are numerous ways in which dust and grime can be retained on a surface. Dust can settle loosely on a surface or be held in place through electrostatic forces. Grime is a general term used to describe foreign matter that is more tightly bound to the paint surface and its safe removal presents a greater challenge to conservators. Understanding the chemistry that binds the grime to the paint surface is essential when developing an approach to cleaning.
Crucifix, detail showing substantial amounts of accumulated dust (1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion