Applied Physics A

, Volume 118, Issue 4, pp 1161–1169 | Cite as

Computed tomography of a medium size Roman bronze statue of Cupid

  • M. Bettuzzi
  • F. Casali
  • M. P. Morigi
  • R. Brancaccio
  • D. Carson
  • G. ChiariEmail author
  • J. Maish
Invited paper


Diagnostics based on X-ray computed tomography (CT) are becoming increasingly important, not only in the medical field but in industry and cultural heritage. CT devices typical for medical applications, however, can seldom be used on art objects because both they are not easily transportable and they often present high X-ray absorption. It is therefore necessary to make use of portable instrumentation and/or to develop tomographic systems optimized to the characteristics of the objects under examination. This work describes the computed tomography of a first century A.D. Roman bronze statue of Cupid (96.AB.53) in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, within the collaborative framework between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Department of Physics and Astronomy (DIFA) of the University of Bologna (Italy). The tomography performed at the Getty facilities employed a 450 kV X-ray tube and a detection system developed at DIFA. The study highlighted the casting and construction techniques used by Roman foundry workers and provided information on the status of conservation of the statue. A 3D virtual reconstruction allowed the user to define different cross-sections enabling the study of the internal features.


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Compute Tomography System Tomographic System Medical Compute Tomography Bronze Statue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We kindly thank Daniel Schneberk and Harry Martz of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for their help and their fruitful collaboration.


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Copyright information

© European Union 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bettuzzi
    • 1
  • F. Casali
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. P. Morigi
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Brancaccio
    • 1
  • D. Carson
    • 3
  • G. Chiari
    • 3
    Email author
  • J. Maish
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Centro FermiRomeItaly
  3. 3.Getty Conservation InstituteLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.The J. Paul Getty MuseumLos AngelesUSA

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