Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

08Dec2016 12:00 - 13:00


We are very pleased to announce the next edition of the NICAS Colloquium on Thursday 8 December 2016 from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place in conference room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).

The chair of this colloquium will be Stina Ekelund (Rijksmuseum), PhD researcher for the Science4Wood project funded by the NWO Science4Arts programme.

The presenters during the colloquium are:


  • Noushine Shahidzadeh - Deterioration of artworks due to salt crystallization

The devastating action of salt crystallization in monuments, artefacts and artworks is a major problem for their preservation. Damage due to salt is commonly attributed to the pressure that a growing crystal from a supersaturated solution exerts on its confining walls. In stones, salt solutions can be present in small pores and the crystallization occurs when the water evaporates. However the precise mechanisms involved of crystal growth in confinement remain incompletely understood. I will present our experimental results obtained with a novel setup that allows to directly measure the force exerted by a crystal during its growth in confinement. These experiments demonstrate the crucial role of wetting films between the growing crystal and the confining walls for the development of the pressure. I will also discuss why the magnitude of this pressure is consequently system-specific depending on the type of salt and the solid materials.

Noushine Shahidzadeh is an associate professor of Physics at the van der Waals-Zeeman Institute (IoP) at the University of Amsterdam. Before coming to the Netherlands in 2011, she led the physics of porous media group at the Institute Navier in France (French Ministry for Sustainable Development) where she also worked in close collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture on the degradation and conservation of historical monuments. Her area of expertise covers the degradation of porous materials due to environmental fluctuations and salts, the behavior of surfactants and emulsions systems and surface treatments for the improvement of adhesions and wetting properties. She is member of the scientific working group of NICAS, the editorial board of Amsterdam Science magazine and member of the board of directors of Interpore. She is the Founder and organizer of the International biannual Workshop: CRYSPOM. She is lecturer at the master of Conservation and Restoration and coordinator of the module ‘Physics of Art conservation” of the experimental physics master (AMEP) at the UVA.


  • Sara Creange - Unearthing a context for Nataraja: a technical and art-historical investigation of the Rijksmuseum Dancing Shiva

The large Shiva Nataraja displayed in the Rijksmuseum is a masterpiece of bronze casting from the Chola Dynasty in South India. Estimated to date around 1100 AD, Shiva was assumed to be solid-cast. Soil and corrosion were long taken as evidence that the sculpture had been recovered from burial in India. However more evidence was needed to determine whether these assumptions were true. A multidisciplinary study was undertaken to examine the sculpture, in an attempt to reveal the facts about the sculpture, and to place it within a context of other published bronzes. This presentation will cover results, challenges and the new questions raised by this research.

Sara Creange has been a metal conservator at the Rijksmuseum since 2007.  She received her Master’s of Science degree in Objects conservation in 2004 from the Winterthur/ University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.

More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.

Published by  NICAS