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Video: Conserving Whaam!

Roy Lichtenstein's Whaam! is one of the most popular works in Tate's collection and has been on almost constant display since it was acquired in 1966. The materials used to create the painting are challenging for conservators, as they don't react well to traditional cleaning methods. Our conservation team have spent months trialling and evaluating different techniques for treating the work. At last, a ground-breaking treatment broadly based on nanotechnology has allowed us to clean the work in a safe and controlled way, for the very first time in the painting's history.

This originates from a collaboration between Tate Liverpool and the NANORESTART team at Tate, and marks the successful treatment of Lichtenstein's iconic painting and its display in the Artist Rooms exhibition 'Roy Lichtenstein in Focus' at Tate Liverpool (until 17 June 2018).

The treatment has been made possible thanks to a new gel created by NANORESTART project collaborators at CSGI Florence. NANORESTART is a three-and-a-half-year collaborative research project (2015-2018) devoted to the development of nanomaterials to ensure long term protection and security of modern and contemporary cultural heritage. The project is led by the Centre for Colloid and Surface Science - CSGI, Florence. NANORESTART has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646063.

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