With the aim to facilitate the cultural heritage community’s access to beamtime, a pilot project for new access modes started last year at the ESRF-EBS: it’s called BAG, a block allocation group for structural investigations of historical materials.

From studying pigments in Picasso’s artwork to analysing the degradation of the world’s oldest known animal cave painting in Indonesia or in Italian terracotta statues, a recent experimental session at the ESRF covered many different subjects of research in just 4 days (12 shifts) and with 14 different end users.

This was the second run of a new access mode at the ESRF that allows the cultural heritage community to get group access to beamtime on a regular basis, meaning that several experiments can take place in a single session.

The STREAMLINE project enabled this access and, thanks to the grant received from the European Commission Horizon 2020, it was possible to develop and improve this working model, with the BAG for cultural heritage users as a very successful outcome from it.

Within a BAG, not only many short proposals from different groups (which require the same analytical technique) are combined into a single one, but it also gives more flexibility to all the partners who share the experimental time granted.

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Top image: The Rijksmuseum. © ℗®™: Erik Smits.