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MOXY research at 6th International Conference on Innovation in Art Research and Technology  InART2024 in Oslo June 4-7, 2024

Moxy research progress was presented at InART 2024 in Oslo. The InART conference aims to create a forum for knowledge transfer between different fields of science and technologies applied to the characterization, conservation, and preservation of global cultural heritage. MOXY presented two posters. The first poster: Towards new atomic oxygen technology for non-contact cleaning carbon-based contaminants: approaches to atomic oxygen generation pathway, characterization of effluent, and potential for greener cleaning methodology. The second poster focused on AO cleaning of soot on silk. On June 7 MOXY gave a talk titled: Investigation of non-contact cleaning of typical unstable sensitive cultural heritage materials from fire-born soot using atomic oxygen generated with the radiofrequency cold plasma at atmospheric pressure.


MOXY presents: short video interviews with our researchers team

We are very exited to present the first video from our short video series 'MOXY Researcher in the Spotlight'! Our very first speaker - Michail Popouzas from TU Eindhoven talking about the scientist role in cultural heritage. Follow our news and social media updates for more.


MOXY PhD researcher Michail Poupouzas wins the Willey Poster Award at Plasma Tech 2024 in Vienna

And the winner at Plasma Tech 2024 in Vienna is… atomic oxygen and MOXY physicists! We congratulate the success of Ph.D. researcher Michail Poupouzas (Eindhoven Technical University), prof. Anton Nikiforov (Ghent University), prof. Rino Morent (Ghent University) and prof. Ana Sobota (Eindhoven Technical University) won the Willey Best Poster award at Vienna's Plasma Processing and Technology International Conference Plasma Tech 2024. The high-profile international conference highlighted advances in fundamental understanding of processing plasmas and their interactions with matter, as well as the importance of these interactions in emerging and existing applications. Michalis and his PhD supervisors presented their work in progress in developing a cold plasma-generated atomic oxygen process and prototype system tailored for the non-contact cleaning of cultural heritage materials. MOXY is venturing into new territory with roots in NASA research, bridging the gap between physics, engineering, aerospace science, cultural heritage, and sustainability science in pursuit of a breakthrough technology to conserve otherwise untreatable materials and preserve works of art for the future in a sustainable and green way. Photo: Michail Poupouzas at Plasma Tech conference.


Dr. Silvia Pizzimenti, from the University of Pisa, presented MOXY at Yuri's Night which was hosted by the Association for the Dissemination of Astronomy and Astronautics - ADAA in Ferno (MI), Italy. Yuri's Night is a commemoration of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961, and the inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981.
On Saturday the 13th of April, communicators illustrated the scientific and technological challenge posed by space exploration. In this context, atomic oxygen was presented to the public as a new technology that comes from space and is transferred to heritage conservation with a very high potential.
The presentation entitled "Dalla ricerca spaziale alla conservazione dei beni culturali: il progetto internazionale MOXY" has received appreciation from all the audience.



MOXY project presented at Yuri's Night hosted by the Association for the Dissemination of Astronomy and Astronautics - ADAA

The MOXY team warmly invites the heritage community and wider society to join in celebrating the ICOMOS International Day for Monuments and Sites on April 18th. This significant day provides a moment to honor and cherish the diverse cultures, histories, and architectural marvels that define our world. International Day for Monuments and Sites is not only a celebration – it is also a call to action. It reminds us of the urgent need to protect cultural heritage from multiple threats and agents of deterioration, such as fires, pollution, other natural and man-made disasters, unsustainable development and urbanization, climate change, and neglect. Within this framework, MOXY's mission is crucial as it encompasses an advanced technological green innovation for non-contact cleaning of cultural heritage materials that aims to empower conservation professionals to preserve, clean, and restore works of art and other tangible cultural heritage assets from fire-born soot and other carbon-based contaminant that cannot be treated using the available methods.  Experience the exciting journey with the MOXY team as we delve into the research and development of atomic oxygen technology for cultural heritage and celebrate this occasion by visiting and honoring our monuments and sites and taking an active role in preserving them for the future. 


International Day of Monuments and Sites 2024: Disasters & Conflicts Through the Lens of the Venice Charter

Beaufort Delaney "Twilight Street", 1946

An interview with MOXY researcher Nina Olsson on treating Delaney's Twillight Street

MOXY researcher Nina Olsson recently treated an urban landscape oil and casein painting by Harlem Renaissance painter Beauford Delaney from 1946, titled "Twilight Street". Significant carbon soot depositions obscured the unvarnished surface, perhaps dating to the struggling artist's coal or wood stove heated studio, and severe lifting of the high impasto surface layers, caused by humid storage conditions, were major obstacles to overcome. It is no surprise that Olsson described the "Twilight Street" treatment as one of the more challenging in her career and that AO MOXY technology would have been of remarkable assistance in treating this painting since atomic oxygen has the unique capacity to transform carbon into volatile species and remove soot in a non-contact way.

From February 2024 the Harlem Renaissance masterpiece is on display at the Portland Art Museum, and we are very excited to share its' story told by Nina Olsson and Martha Ullman West. Interview link

Photos by Nina Olsson


Micrograph of the crescent moon before treatment, showing deposition of carbon soot, and the formation of cadmium oxide on the surface

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MOXY project presented at Neumuralismo Urbano Workshop in Rome

Silvia Pizzimenti from University of Pisa presented  MOXY project at the theoretical/practical workshop organised by Istituto Centrale del Restauro in collaboration with our Italian project on the Sustainable Preservation Strategies for Street Art ( The workshop aimed to give a panoramic view of the more innovative sustainable practices in conservation for the preservation of street art.


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Green Transformation in Cultural Heritage Conservation
Round Table Meeting November 9th, 2023 University of Amsterdam

Round table discussion 13:30-17:30
Please join us virtually for the first in-person Green Cluster meeting, where we will kick-start discussion and allow researchers from the MOXY, GoGreen, and GreenArt projects to consider the future of Green Conservation, and concrete collaborations between the Green Cluster projects under the Horizon Green Innovation for Cultural Heritage research initiative. The format is a round table discussion to brainstorm the most significanttopics/concepts/themes and possible joint initiatives. Several topics will be presented by a moderator to formulate the problem, which the participants will discuss.
To receive a link for virtual attendance contact: 


Conservators and scientists collaborate with European Space Agency innovating NASA’s non-contact cleaning technology using oxygen atoms from space in laboratory 

In September 18-24 the ICOM-CC 20th Triennial Conference, with the theme: Working Towards a Sustainable Past, gathered in Valencia University scientists, conservators, archivists, and museum and library professionals to discuss how to preserve cultural heritage in times of climate crisis in a sustainable and green way. 
Horizon Europe MOXY project researchers returned to atomic oxygen at ICOM-CC
20th Triennial Conference, as the concept of non-contact artworks cleaning was also first presented at ICOM-CC Triennial by Bruce Banks and Sharon Miller.
MOXY project research, covering the experments at European Space Agency lab as well as non-contact cleaning testing on sensitive art materials,  was presented by principal researchers Tomas Markevicius and Nina Olsson.
The open online access to the research paper Nascent oxygen innovation in art conservation: cold atmospheric pressure plasma-generated monoatomic oxygen for non-contact cleaning of works of art is available for download at icom-cc-publications-online.


AO technology’s eco-design and sustainability goals presented at

Life Cycle Management Conference

MOXY project partner, the WeLOOP team obtained their first results on the environmental hotspot analysis of the MOXY technology – the atmospheric plasma-generated monoatomic oxygen – used to restore works of art. The hotspot analysis is performed via Life Cycle Assessment, and the results were presented last week at the 11th International Conference on Life Cycle Management in Lille, France. This conference gathered 950 LCA practitioners from all over the world, and was a great occasion to interact with the community. The hotspot analysis is the first step in the eco-design process of the MOXY device. This analysis will be followed up with an eco-design workshop with the project partners to identify opportunities to decrease impacts, and a comparative LCA in which the MOXY device is compared with alternative cleaning methods, to put its environmental performance in perspective.

The LCM (Life Cycle Management) conference series is one of the world’s leading forums for environmental, economic and social sustainability. The focus is on practical solutions for the implementation of life cycle approaches into strategic and operational decision-making, whether in science, industry, NGOs or public institutions. 

Find out more at:


MOXY project presented at ICOMOS General Assembly in Sydney

MOXY project presented in ICOMOS General Assembly in Sydney.


Please do not touch: novel atmospheric atomic oxygen generator for non-contact cleaning of cultural heritage objects in action

MOXY researchers at Ghent University and the Eindhoven University of Technology continue working on an innovative design of an atmospheric atomic oxygen generator, tailored for cultural heritage applications. The video shows soot removal from a limestone sample. 



MOXY researchers reconstructed NASA's treatment of Andy Warhol's painting The Bathtub (1961, The Andy Warhol Museum) and presented the results at the TECHNART  2023 conference in Lisbon, May 04-12

The 2023 edition of TECHNART, the international conference, held in Lisbon on May 7-12 in Lisbon, just concluded. The conference had a mission to provide a scientific forum for scientists, conservators, and museum professionals to discuss and communicate the research and innovation related to analytical techniques in the field of art and cultural heritage, to foster contacts and exchange of experiences, making a bridge between science, art, and cultural heritage. The MOXY project team presented their preliminary results in two poster presentations: MOXY Project: a preliminary investigation of non-contact cleaning of some typical art materials using atomic oxygen“ and „A New Look into NASA’s Pioneering Atomic Oxygen Treatment Removing Lipstick Defacement from Andy Warhol’s “Bathtub” (1961)“.  ​ The first poster presented the results from a preliminary study, where 39 mock-ups were produced using a range of artistic supports and media (plaster, limestone, canvas, paper, acrylic, oil paint, and pastel). Mock-ups were exposed to atomic oxygen using the low Earth orbit oxygen environment simulator LEOX at the European Space Agency (ESA). The system operates at low-pressure and uses laser detonation to separate oxygen atoms and produce an effluent of atomic oxygen at 99%, which is directed to the sample holder. Mock-ups were investigated with an array of techniques to obtain an initial assessment of the effects of AO exposure: spectrocolorimetry and reflectance spectroscopy were used to assess color differences and changes in the spectral features; scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser microprofilometry (CLM) to evaluate changes in the surface morphology; analytical pyrolysis coupled with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) to gain insights into molecular effects, and the results were presented in the poster. The results obtained from this preliminary study are very promising since contaminants are successfully removed from the substrates, in particular, soot was removed from plaster, sandstone, and acrylic paint. In this context, a crucial aspect revealed by this study is the fact that the assessment of the cleaning efficiency and the effect of AO on the substrate is not straightforward due to the contact-less and solvent-less nature of the cleaning method. In contact and solvent/gel-based methods, it is often necessary to evaluate the presence of residues on the artwork surface or the degree of diffusion of solvents used for cleaning. Differently from the contact methods, for the AO-cleaning, this is not necessary, as there are no residues, but the possible effects of atomic oxygen on the artwork itself need to be investigated in depth, which calls for new cleaning assessment protocols to be combined with traditional approaches.   ​ The second MOXY poster presented new insights into the origins of AO technology,  which, has its origins in a serendipitous invention, as it started with a defacing lipstick kiss on Andy Warhol’s painting Bathtub (1961) at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in 1997. Lipstick is designed for porous substrates, such as human skin, and may be extremely difficult to safely remove from delicate porous modern materials, such as the acrylic paints used by Andy Warhol. When a lipstick-wearing visitor kissed the Bathtub at an event in 1997, Ellen Baxter, the former chief conservator in charge of the treatment, noted that “Of all the paintings there for her to put her lips to, that was the worst one… I couldn’t use typical conservation methods to clean it… It was like trying to take a lipstick stain out of a piece of Kleenex”.  Conservators turned to NASA where Bruce Banks and Sharon Miller were investigating AO erosion on spacecraft materials and had already tested AO treatment under low pressure for fire-damaged paintings. The “Bathtub” required a targeted treatment without placing the painting in a low-pressure chamber, and Banks and Miller pioneered an atmospheric AO apparatus which was moved to the museum and used to remove the lipstick without physically touching the surface. The treatment made headlines in the 1990s but was never repeated until recently when MOXY researchers in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) began experimenting with AO on typical cultural heritage materials using their low Earth orbit oxygen environment simulator, LEOX and to develop an innovative atmospheric AO technology in the MOXY project.  In the reconstruction of the NASA Warhol treatment, contemporary lipsticks were exposed to AO under low-pressure conditions, which made lipsticks appear lighter but did not remove them. Lipsticks contained red iron oxides, which are not affected by AO. However, the AO role was essential, as it converted organic compounds in the lipstick into volatile byproducts (CO, CO2, H2O vapor), leaving a dry powdery residuum on the surface. This enabled the dry removal of the residual powder using soft natural rubber in a second step, repeating NASA’s methodology. The colorimetric analysis confirmed highly effective recovery, and FTIR-ATR did not identify molecular changes in the substrate after cleaning. The issue of slow treatment (54.9 h) can be resolved by using atmospheric AO technology in development by the MOXY project, which reduces the treatment time from multiple hours to minutes and seconds.  See the poster and read more details on how exactly NASA saved Andy Warhol's painting. The results will be published in the post-prints of TECHNART2023.


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MOXY full paper presentation at the AIC's 51st Annual Meeting May 16

MOXY senior researcher and paintings conservator Nina Olsson presented a full paper talk at the Research and Technical Art Studies working group at the American Institute for Conservation AIC's 51st Annual Meeting on May 16-20, 2023 this year was held under the main theme of "Conservation in the Age of Environmental, Social, and Economic Climate Change".  The meeting addressed urgent present-day issues, from rising global temperatures to international conflicts, political shifts that threaten to erase hard-won rights, and a fragile and unbalanced economy. In this context,  the activist and historian Rebecca Solnit said, “Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act.” This resonates with the talk presented by Nina, about the new hope and new horizon for green technologies for non-contact cleaning of art works, co-authored by the MOXY project team "A New Horizon for Atomic Oxygen in Sustainable Heritage Conservation: Green Technology for Contactless Cleaning of the Works of ArtResearch & Technical Studies) A New Horizon for Atomic Oxygen in Sustainable Heritage Conservation: Green Technology for Contactless Cleaning of the Works of Art 


Full video presentation on MOXY Youtube channel:



MOXY in the IIC News in Conservation - April - May 2023 

MOXY in the latest April-May 2023 edition of the News in Conservation by the International Institute of Conservation IIC.
Direct link: 


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MOXY in the IIC News in Conservation - December 2022 - January 2023 

MOXY in the latest Dec 2022 - Jan 2023 edition of the News in Conservation by the International Institute of Conservation IIC.
Direct link:


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MOXY in the Italian TGR Leonardo News - November 2022

MOXY researchers prof. Ilaria Bonaduce and dr. Silvia Pizzimenti from the University of Pisa interviewed about the atomic oxygen innovation and  research.  From minute 12.


MOXY mission at the European Space Agency ESA -  2022

The first ever collaboration between cultural heritage and the aerospace science at ESATo explore AO effects on typical cultural heritage materials, 39 mockups were made: plaster, limestone, acrylic paint, canvas, pastel, paper were prepared and experimented on at ESA using the space environment simulator ESTEC TEC-QEE LEOX. The simulator consists of a vessel composed of three compartments separated by an electro-pneumatic valve and an orifice in the main chamber where the samples are exposed to 99% AO under low-pressure conditions, using IR CO2 laser detonation. Preliminary results were investigated in the new paper submitted for the ICOM-CC Valencia 2023 meeting, and is currently undergoing peer-review. 

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MOXY project news by the Restauratoren Nederland, association of professional Dutch art conservators - restorers  

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The MOXY project kick-off meeting at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium - November 2022

“The Moxy project stands alone in the world as it embarks upon the development of new and non-traditional methods of art restoration that may enable cleaning of artworks not previously possible through the use of atomic oxygen” – with these words NASA scientists Bruce Banks and Sharon Miller, who pioneered atomic oxygen in art conservation, opened the MOXY project kick-off meeting via a virtual bridge between NASA Glenn Center and Ghent University, the coordinator of the new four-year European MOXY project, which started on November 1, 2022. For more details please download MOXY press release.

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