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The world of art restoration moves a bit slower than others. You know this is the case when a new method for removing tape from prints and drawings makes news.

But here we are. This week, a group researchers at the University of Florence published a study through the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences detailing the innovative new technique, which employs a water-retentive hydrogel with nano-sized droplets of organic solvents to remove old pieces of pressure-sensitive tape (known as PSTs) without damaging the substrate underneath. The emulsion slowly penetrates the surface and softens the adhesive underneath without touching the paper. Simply apply the gel to the top of tape, trim it down to size, then peel both off.

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