The NEXTO project (2017-2019)

The NEXTO project funded by Compagnia di San Paolo (Progetti di Ateneo) aims to develop new portable X-ray based instruments for non-invasive analysis of materials in Cultural Heritage. Information obtained by means of these new apparatus will be useful mainly for preservation, restoration and authentication of Cultural Heritage and to answer to specific archaeological questions.

The NEXTO project will enhance the capabilities of a portable instrumentation developed inside INFN-CHNet network [1]. Nowadays the mobile laboratory is able to perform analysis by means of scanning X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Luminescence (XRL). The NEXTO project aims to strongly integrate Digital Radiography (DR) in the pre-existing instrument, developing a dedicated control/analysis software able to merge data from different techniques, thus obtaining combined information not easily available performing separate analyses. Moreover, to analyze 3D objects, micro-CT (Computed Tomography) and photogrammetry techniques will be implemented, making the apparatus a powerful and versatile tool for on-site analysis. The apparatus will be tested on site on real case studies in collaboration with local museums (Egyptian Museum and Oriental Art Museum), the Foundation Centre for Conservation and Restoration Center "La Venaria Reale" (CCR) and an academic spin-off of the University of Torino (TecnArt Srl) operating in the field of diagnostics applied to Cultural Heritage.

To achieve these results, the project will exploit the ten-year experience reached in this field by the interdisciplinary research team involved and the infrastructures of the INFN Torino section (inside CHNet-INFN network), having a well-established expertise about the development of instruments that are beyond the state of the art [2-3]. Moreover, a substantial contribute will come from public and private entities, that not only will make available works of art to test the instruments, but will also assist the team in the instrument design, on the basis of actual requirements, and will cooperate in public engagement initiatives.


[1] C. Ruberto et al., Microchem J 126, (2016), 63-69

[2] A. Lo Giudice et al., "A new digital radiography system for paintings on canvas and on wooden panels of large dimensions", Proceeding of I2MTC 2017 IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference, 22-25 May 2017, Torino, (Italy), pag. 1834-1839

[3] A. Re et al. "The importance of tomography studyng wooden artefacts: a comparison with radiography in the case of a coffin lid from Ancient Egypt", International Journal of Conservation Science 7(SI2): 935-944 (2016)

Publications and conferences

A. Lo Giudice et al. "New X-ray diagnostic tools for Cultural Heritage: the NEXTO project", X Congresso Nazionale AIAr, 14-17 February 2018, Torino (Italy), page C&D-P18, book of abstracts (Poster Presentation)<

A. Re et al. "X-Ray Luminescence (XRL) combined with MA-XRF", ICXOM24 Congress, 25-29 September 2018, Trieste (Italy), page 43, book of abstracts (Poster Presentation)