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Researchers from the UGR develop a new software which adapts medical technology to see the interior of a sculpture

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Said software simplifies medical technology and adapts it to the needs of wood sculpture restorers

A student at the University of Granada (UGR) has designed a new software that adapts the current medical technology and allows to analyze the interior of sculptures. It’s a tool to see the insides without damaging wood carvings, and it has been designed for the restoration and conservation of the sculptural heritage.

Francisco Javier Melero, professor of Languages and Computer Systems at the University of Granada and director of the project, says that the new software simplifies medical technology and adapts it to the needs of restorers working with wood carvings.

The software, called 3DCurator, has a specialized viewfinder which uses computed tomography in the field of restoration and conservation of sculptural heritage. It allows to adapt the medical CT to restoration and it displays the 3D image of the carving with which it is going to work.

Replacing the traditional, currently used X-rays for this system allows to examine the interior of the statue without the problem of overlapping information presented by the previous system, and allows to know its internal structure, the age of the wood with which it was made, or possible additions.

«The software which carries out this task has been simplified in order to allow any restorer to easily use it. You can even customize some functions, and it allows the restorers to use the latest medical technology used to study pathologies and apply it to constructive techniques of wood sculptures», says professor Melero.

This system, which can be downloaded for free from, allows to access the hidden information of a carving, verify if it presents metallic elements, identify if it has problems of xylophages like termites and the route they make, and detect new plasters or polychrome paintings added later, especially on the original finishes.

The main developer of 3DCurator has been Francisco Javier Bolívar, a student who has begun the master’s degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Granada this year, and who stressed that the tool will mean a notable breakthrough in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural assets and the analysis of works of art by experts in Art History.

Professor Melero explains that this new tool has already been used to examine two sculptures owned by the University of Granada: the statues of San Juan Evangelista, from the 16th century, and an Immaculate from the 17th century, which can be virtually examined at the Virtual Heritage Site Of the Andalusian Universities (

It will also be used by teachers in subjects of the Degree of Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Property at the University of Granada, and at a professional level by the services of Conservation and Restoration of the same entity.







Francisco Javier Melero Rus
Departamento de Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos
E.T.S. de Ingenierías Informática y de Telecomunicación
Periodista Daniel Saucedo Aranda S/N C.P. 18071 (Granada)
Teléfono: (+34) 958 248 426