Heritage Forum

An unusual relationship with microbic organisms

Nov 4, 2021 | Forum, News

With the Covid-19 pandemic still taking center stage in society, it is understandable that people can be wary of microbic organisms, while they forget about those organisms that are useful. To demonstrate this, bacteria Serratia ficaria (SH7) stepped up in society, more specifically with regards to Italian architecture from the Middle Ages. SH7 clean marble surfaces in a chapel by eating the stains. This chapel, designed by Michaelangelo and housing the remains of the Medici family, is now as clean as it has never been before in the modern era.

A team of researchers from amongst others the Italian Research Council and the Italian Agency for New Technology, as well as art historians, tested a series of more than 1000 bacteria to eventually identify one that eats the ancient stains, consisting of phosphates and proteins, without damaging the Carrara marble. Click to read more

Rabe!, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


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