Monday, June 30, 2008

Explosive Theory

From The Art Newspaper:

"A former curator from the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg ... has developed a new method for dating paintings in collaboration with Russian scientists which, she says, provides 'indisputable' evidence of whether a painting was made before or after 1945. According to the inventors, the new patented technology is based on the idea that man-made nuclear explosions in the 1940s and 1950s released isotopes into the environment that do not occur naturally. The tiniest traces of these isotopes, Caesium-137 and Strontium-90, permeated the planet’s soil and plant life, and eventually ended up in all works of art made in the post-war era because natural oils are used as binding agents for paints. Therefore, they believe that any work of art originally believed to pre-date World War II, but which registers trace amounts of Caesium-137 and Strontium-90, can be 'definitively' declared a post-1945 forgery."