Paper by RBI scientists published in Crystal Growth & Design
RBI scientists Daniel Lyons, PhD, and Davorin Medaković, PhD, from the Centre for Marine Research in Rovinj, in cooperation with the scientists from Departments of Physics and Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Zagreb and the Croatian Conservation Institute, have recently published a new study on the Biomineralization on an Ancient Sculpture of the Apoxyomenos; Effects of a Metal-rich Environment on Crystal Growth in Living Organisms in the prestigious crystallographic scientific journal Crystal Growth & Design, a bi-monthly journal published by the American Chemical Society.
The paper is based on the restoration of a 2,000-year-old bronze sculpture of the famed ancient Greek athlete Apoxyomeno, was found submerged in the Adriatic Sea off the Croatian coast in 1998. While the discovery was a bonanza for archaeologists and art historians, it also proved to be an unexpected boon to scientists trying to understand biomineralization. That's the process in which animals and plants use minerals from their surroundings and form shells and bone. Apoxyomenos was encrusted with such deposits. This study may help modern scientists understand how to prevent metal corrosion, discover the safest ways to permanently store nuclear waste, and understand other perplexing problems. By evaluating the mineral layers and fossilized organisms on the statue, the researchers were able to evaluate how underwater fouling organisms and communities interacted with the statue as well as how certain mineral deposits on the bronze sculpture slowed its deterioration.
During the research the scientists have come up with valuable insights in the field of metal corrosion prevention as well as moved one step closer identified safer ways for permanent storage of nuclear waste as well as in understanding other complex problems.