1st Edition

Coping with Biological Growth on Stone Heritage Objects Methods, Products, Applications, and Perspectives

By Daniela Pinna Copyright 2017
    382 Pages 20 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    382 Pages 20 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    382 Pages 20 Color & 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Apple Academic Press

    Coping with Biological Growth on Stone Heritage Objects: Methods, Products, Applications, and Perspectives offers hands-on guidance for addressing the specific challenges involved in conserving historical monuments, sculptures, archaeological sites, and caves that have been attacked and colonized by micro- and macroorganisms. The volume provides many case studies of removal of biological growth with practical advice for making the right choices. It presents detailed and updated information related to biocides and to alternative substances, features that will be valuable to dealing with these challenges. The author’s goal is to provide access to information and offer the conceptual framework needed to understand complex issues, so that the reader can comprehend the nature of conservation problems and formulate her/his own views.

    From bacteria to plants, biological agents pose serious risks to the preservation of cultural heritage. In an effort to save heritage objects, buildings, and sites, conservators’ activities aim to arrest, mitigate, and prevent the damages caused by bacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, plants, and birds. Although much has been learned about these problems, information is scattered across meeting proceedings and assorted journals that often are not available to restorers and conservators. This book fills the gap by providing a comprehensive selection and examination of international papers published in the last fifteen years, focusing on the appropriate methods, techniques, and products that are useful for the prevention and removal of micro- and macroorganisms that grow on artificial and natural stone works of art, including wall paintings. Results on new substances with antimicrobic properties and alternative methods for the control of biological growth are presented as well.

    The book also emphasize issues on bioreceptivity of stones and the factors influencing biological growth and includes an outline of the various organisms able to develop on stones, a discussion on the bioprotection of stones by biofilms and lichens, a review of the main analytical techniques, and a section on bioremediation.

    This volume will be a valuable reference for cultural heritage conservators and restorers, scientists, and heritage-site staff involved in conservation and maintenance of buildings, archaeological sites, parks, and caves.


    Basic Principles of Biology

    Biochemistry Basics

    Organisms Responsible of Biodeterioration


    Bioreceptivity of Natural and Artificial Stones Including Wall Paintings

    Factors Influencing Biological Growth

    Outline of Biodeterioration of Stone Objects

    General Principles


    Cyanobacteria, Bacteria, Microalgae



    Bioprotection of Stones by Biofilms and Lichens

    Mosses and Vascular Plants


    Control Methods of Biodeterioration

    Physical Eradication and Inhibition

    Mechanical and Water-Based Control Methods




    Types of Microbicides and Herbicides

    Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Action

    Stains After Treatments

    Biocides No More on the Market, Biocides That Changed the Name or the Producer, Very Hazardous Biocides and Strange Information Reported in the Literature

    Resistance of Organisms to Biocides

    Toxicity and Legislative Regulations

    Recolonization after Treatment and Maintenance Plans

    Biocides’ Effects On Stones

    Effectiveness of Biocides and the Persistence of Their Effect

    Novel Biocides and Alternative Methods For the Control of Biological Growth

    Prevention of Biodeterioration


    Scientific Examinations

    Assessment of the Biological Growth and Its Effect on Stones

    Assessment of the Efficacy of Control Methods


    Daniela Pinna has been working as a biologist at the Italian Cultural Heritage Ministry since 1987. Since 2011, she has been lecturing on biodeterioration and degradation of bioarcheological materials at Bologna University (International Degree Course Science for the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage). She was involved in the European Projects EU-ARTECH (Access Research and Technology for the Conservation of the European Cultural Heritage—2004–2009) and CHARISMA (Cultural Heritage Advanced Research Infrastructures: Synergy for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Conservation/Restoration—2009–2014).

    She has published two books and several articles on those subjects. She is editor of the book Scientific Examination for the Investigation of Paintings: A Handbook for Conservators-Restorers (Centro Di, Firenze, 2009). Moreover, she is involved in the activity of CEN/TC 346. CEN is the European Committee for Standardization and TC346 is in charge for standards related to conservation of cultural heritage. Her areas of specialization include biodeterioration of heritage objects, prevention and treatment of biodeteriogens, testing and evaluation of conservation products, and the control of treatment efficacy and durability in the field of stone, mortar, mural paintings, and polychrome sculpture conservation. She graduated in Biology from Padua University, Italy.

    "Daniela Pinna is a reputable biologist with an extensive practice in the field of conservation of cultural heritage. . . The book is a very detailled state of the art, but it contains also a personal perspective about the addressed topics, helping the reader to better move among these often complex subjects. . . . It analyzes this topic under the scientific point of view . . . but also tackles the practical issues connected with biodeterioration, its occurrences, consequences, and possible remediation. . . .The book is easy to read, [and] can be used as a consulting manual for conservation scientists searching for identifying problems, their causes, and solutions, as well as for practitioners searching for a feasible solutions to the problem at hand. . . . Should be a reference on the shelf of any conservation scientist and conservator-restorer working in the field of cultural heritage."

    —From the Foreword by José Delgado Rodrigues, Geologist, Former Principal Research Officer LNEC; Consultant in Stone Conservation, Lisbon, Portugal


    “An outstanding addition . . . . There are several points that make this book unique: first, the care taken in properly defining terms such as biodeterioration and biodegradation that are often misapplied; second, the logical organization within each chapter that makes it easy to read and follow, even for those unfamiliar with these challenges; and third, the excellent Appendix that brings together so much information about products, brands, chemicals, etc. in an organized fashion. . . . Finally, the drawings, photographs and examples selected to illustrate the points discussed in the chapters are really remarkable.” 

    —A. Elena Charola, PhD, Research Scientist, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institution


    “A must for everybody working on conservation of stone heritage objects, including applied scientists of different areas and conservators, restorers and governative superintendents as well as architects, art historians, archeologists. First, because it is pleasant, clear and easy to read and gives an excellent updated summary on researches done by several authors (463 references) on the biology applied to works of art. The descriptive parts are accompanied by a good choice of pictures that render easy to understand the concepts. In her book, Daniela Pinna covers the most fundamental topics important to know when working in the ¿eld of conservation of cultural heritage made by stone. . . . Very useful not only for biologists but also for scholars of other disciplines because gives basic knowledge on the macro- and microorganisms biology, their ecological requirement, biodeterioration patterns, and on [what] not-to-do when dealing with living organisms. . . . Can be used as a general guide for everybody and especially for the persons in charge of the conservation of cultural heritage stone objects/monuments and archeological areas. After reading this book, the importance of the involvement in cultural heritage conservation of expert biologists in a multi-disciplinary network appears clear.”

    — Journal of Cultural Heritage, review by Clara Urzì, Department of Chem. Biol. Pharm. and Environ. Sciences, University of Messina, Italy


    “Comprehensive in its scope, well-structured and written, and thoroughly referenced in footnotes and appendices, this volume is AN INDISPENSABLE TEXTBOOK FOR MATERIALS CONSERVATION EDUCATORS AND A WELL-WRITTEN, INFORMATIVE HANDS-ON TOOL FOR PRACTITIONERS seeking to hold back the inexorable and never-ending assault of the biological world on stone and masonry. . . . Pinna’s authoritative volume is intended as a reference tool  . . .  As conservators, the job before us is to prevent and reverse the effects of these processes on heritage objects. The book aims to assist in that task by compiling and evaluating the last fifteen years of conservation literature on biodeterioration and its mitigation. . . .  The book easily translates to all branches of heritage that are impacted adversely by the presence of bio-growth. . . . Well structured, and [the] information is easy to access . . . This essential reference tool also includes many interesting bits of information that make the book ENJOYABLY READABLE . . . ”

    —The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Review by Rosa Lowinger
    To read the full review:

    “Well written and well organized, and it contains specific and practical information .  . . . An invaluable book for any serious preservation practitioner who is frequently dealing with nature’s insistence on slowly turning man’s stone creations back into their more elemental natural components. . . . So valuable [because] it synthesizes over 450 studies on subjects of biodeterioration from around the world.  . . . The book is peppered with excellent examples from around the world of fragile and ancient cultural relics . . . that have been subjected to massive biological infestation.”

    —APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, review by Peter Wollenberg, Wollenberg Building Conservation, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri