Disinfecting paper-based cultural heritage objects using gamma rays is not recommended on account of its destructive effect on cellulose.


  • Lead school Bern Academy of the Arts
  • Institute Institute Materiality in Art and Culture 
  • Research unit Conservation Techniques
  • Funding organisation Innosuisse
  • Duration 01.03.2017 - 30.11.2018
  • Project management Prof. Sebastian Dobrusskin
  • Head of project Cornelius Palmbach

Course of action

Empirical observations indicate that hard X-ray radiation is less destructive to cellulose. The aim of this project is to determine if, and under what conditions, X-ray radiation might be an appropriate method to disinfect paper-based cultural artefacts. To this end, the dose of X-ray radiation will be reduced to a minimum, and its effect on moulds and its degrading impact on cellulose will be examined.