Conservators at Sally Strachey Historic Conservation rented a Compact Phoenix system for a month to carry out laser cleaning of nine fragile terracotta and stoneware figures on the pediment of St. Stephen’s Chapel at West Norwood Cemetery, London. Tests carried out previously by Cliveden Conservation using a range of cleaning techniques identified laser cleaning at 1064nm as the most appropriate due to the nature of the soiling and the weathered condition of the sculptures’ surfaces:
“The laser cleaning tests were the most successful. This technique was not only the most efficient but also the safest for the surface of the stoneware and terracotta statues. It was possible to fully control the level of cleaning and removal of the black pollution without damaging the surface.”
Cleaning of the pediment figures was carried out over 4 weeks in August and September.