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Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2017, Article ID 6167856, 7 pages
Research Article

Science Applied for the Investigation of Imperial Gate from Eighteenth Century Wooden Church of Nicula Monastery

1National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular Technologies, 67-103 Donat St., 400293 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2Nicula Monastery, 407278 Cluj County, Romania
3Faculty of Orthodox Theology, “Babes-Bolyai” University, Episcop Nicolae Ivan St., 400609 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
4INCDO-INOE 2000 Research Institute for Analytical Instrumentation, 67 Donath St., 400293 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
5Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 28 Memorandumului St., 400114 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
6Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Craiova, 13 Al. I. Cuza St., 200585 Craiova, Romania
7University of Art and Design, 31 Unirii Square, 400098 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Correspondence should be addressed to I. Bratu; moc.liamg@utarbi, C. Măruţoiu; moc.oohay@uioturamc, and S. Garabagiu; or.jc-miti@uigabarags

Received 17 August 2016; Revised 4 October 2016; Accepted 17 October 2016; Published 11 January 2017

Academic Editor: Vincenza Crupi

Copyright © 2017 I. Bratu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Part of an indestructible component of any orthodox church, the Imperial Gates represent an important symbol in our cultural heritage. But in many cases the Imperial Gates from the wooden churches were damaged. In order to preserve and restore them, the scientific investigations of the Imperial Gate belonging to Nicula Monastery wooden church were performed by employing nondestructive and destructive methods. The wood essence was established, with its “health” status being investigated by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectroscopy and DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry) thermal analysis. The painting materials employed by popular artists were determined by FTIR and XRF (X-ray fluorescence) spectroscopy as gypsum, calcite (rear background), lead white (Archangel Clothes), lead-minium (Archangel Clothes, leaf), iron oxide (Imperial Gate frame), malachite (green), Prussian blue (blue), orpiment (yellow), aliphatic, ester, and protein (probably egg yolk degradation products). Using similar colors as in the original artwork (resulting from the scientific investigation of the pigments) a 3D reconstruction has been performed. The restored Imperial Gates are placed in the old Nicula wooden church, being included into a tourist and religious circuit.