Who we are

INFN-CHNet (Cultural Heritage Network) is the network of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) devoted to Cultural Heritage. The mission of INFN-CHNet is to harmonise and enhance the expertise of the Institute in the field of Cultural Heritage, expertise distributed among many structures spread over the whole Italian territory.
INFN-CHNet is a network operating under the vigilance of the INFN National Committee for Technology Transfer (CNTT). It was developed starting from INFN-LABEC, the Nuclear Techniques Laboratory for Environment and Cultural Heritage, which is located in Florence.
INFN-CHNet is both a research network and a distributed service infrastructure for knowledge and technology transfer that is dedicated to science and technology applied to cultural heritage.
The mission of INFN-CHNet is to take up a crucial function at the national and international level for the public and private multidisciplinary community operating in the sector of study and diagnostics of cultural heritage.
INFN laboratories have not only been using for decades the more cutting-edge technologies in this field, but also have been developing new ones, in order to address the needs of cultural heritage researchers, such as archaeologists, historians, art historians, restorers and conservators.

Technologies applied to cultural heritage can provide useful information for:
– giving indications to restorers about the correct procedures to be applied for restoration/conservation;
– characterising materials and manufacturing techniques;
– studying the provenance of the raw materials (in order to retrace ancient trade routes or to use original materials during restorations);
– giving indications about material authenticity;

CHNet includes the INFN laboratories whose activity is devoted to the development and application of technologies for the study and conservation of Cultural Heritage, but it is opening also to other national partners with expertise complementary to that of the Institute and international partners engaged in diagnostics in cultural heritage.

At the moment, the network is composed of three layers, following the following scheme. First level nodes are defined, while specific agreements are being signed by second and third level partners.

The national network

First level nodes Second level nodes

INFN structures

Partners with complementary competencies, such as restoration centres or groups of researchers in universities who want to participate to the network activities.

The international network – Third level nodes