Dr Charis Theodorakopoulos is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science in the Department of Arts. His main research focus is on the development and evaluation of conservation treatments for paintings, characterisation of artists’ materials and techniques, studies in material deterioration and comprehensive documentation of works of art. Charis collaborates with national and international research organizations and welcomes industrial and business partners, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.
Prior to joining Northumbria in 2013, Charis taught conservation of works of art and conservation science as Associate Scientist, at the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece (2007-2013). Prior to that he was a Research Assistant and Research Fellow at the University of London, Birkbeck College, Department of Biochemical Sciences (2004-2008) where he contributed to several EU projects (4th, 5th and 6th FPs). During his doctoral research (Hellenic State Fund 2001-2004) he contributed to the optimisation and the evaluation of laser cleaning of paintings using UV pulsed (excimer) lasers at the Royal College of Art, in collaboration with IESL-FoRTH in Greece (EU TMR DGXII and TMR 5th CSF funds 2002-2003) and FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) in Amsterdam (funded by FOM program 49 and NWO). He has employed laser-induced analysis, mass spectrometry, optical spectroscopy as well as thermal analysis to study a wide range of artist’s and heritage materials, including the study of paintings and the characterisation of dyes, binding media, paints and coatings. At TEI-A he developed novel cleaning materials for varnished and unvarnished tempera paints, murals and gilded panels with advanced gel formulations. He is collaborating with practicing conservators, conservation scientists, preventive conservation experts as well as scientists at diverse disciplines and sectors. He has contributed to a number of international research projects and he is member of national and international professional conservation bodies.
Campus AddressCity Campus 001 Burt Hall, Northumberland Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST
Research Themes and Scholarly Interests
Charis is member of the Northumbria University Visual and Material Culture research group in the Department of Arts and works closely with the Department of Applied Sciences and the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering
He has a particular interest in the study and the development of:
- Conservation treatments, in particular laser cleaning and smart gel systems for works of art, such as varnished and unvarnished pre- and post- twentieth century paintings, drawings, coatings, gildings and plastics
- Technical and analytical studies - surface and bulk characterisation and analysis of works of art, using spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, microscopy and multi-/hyper-spectral imaging methods to evaluate treatments and to investigate the deterioration of artist’s materials
- Monitoring and evaluation methods for practicing conservators, curators and art history scholars
- Materials for conservation applications and treatments
- Early warning systems to prevent deterioration of displayed and stored works of art and collections to contribute to environmental and preventive conservation studies
- Comprehensive artwork documentation for general public, conservation and conservation science
Charis welcomes industrial and business partners, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers focusing in research, implementation and evaluation for art conservation
- Bakalarou, A. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2013) Cleaning of water-gilded surfaces using hydro- and solvent-gels., e-Conservation Magazine 25 pp. 89-105. ISSN 1646-9283
- Galatis, P., Boyatzis, S. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2012) Removal of a synthetic soiling mixture on mastic, shellac & Laropal® K80 coatings using two hydrogels e-Preservation Science 9 pp. 72-83. ISSN 1854-3928
- Bakalarou, A. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2012) A flexible crossbar system for a 19th century panel painting e-Conservation Magazine 24 pp. 88-94. ISSN 1646-9283
- Theodorakopoulos, C. and Boon, J. (2011) A high performance size exclusion chromatographic study on the depth-dependent gradient in the molecular weight of aged triterpenoid varnish films Progress in Organic Coatings 72(4) pp. 778-783. ISSN 03009440
- Bergsten, C., Odlyha, M., Jakiela, S., Slater, J., Cavicchioli, A., de Faria, D., Niklasson, A., Svensson, J.-E., Bratasz, Ł., Camuffo, D., della Valle, A., Baldini, F., Falciai, R., Mencaglia, A., Senesi, F. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2010) Sensor system for detection of harmful environments for pipe organs (SENSORGAN) e-Presevation Science 7 pp. 116-125. ISSN 1581-9280
- Theodorakopoulos, C., Boon, J. and Zafiropulos, V. (2009) Direct temperature mass spectrometric study on the depth-dependent compositional gradients of aged triterpenoid varnishes, International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 284(1-3) pp. 98-107. ISSN 1387-3806
- Theodorakopoulos, C. and Zafiropulos, V. (2009) Depth-profile investigations of triterpenoid varnishes by KrF excimer laser ablation and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy Applied Surface Science 255(20) pp. 8520-8526. ISSN 0169-4332
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C., de Groot, J., Bozec, L. and Horton, M. (2009) Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (ATR/FTIR) and scanning probe microscopy of parchment e-Preservation Science 6 pp. 138-144. ISSN 1854-3928
- Theodorakopoulos, C., Zafiropulos, V., Boon, J. and Boyatzis, S. (2007) Spectroscopic investigations on the depth-dependent degradation gradients of aged triterpenoid varnishes Applied Spectroscopy 61(10) pp. 1045-1051. ISSN 0096-8706
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C. and Campana, R. (2007) Studies on Woolen Threads from Historical Tapestries AUTEX Research Journal 7(1) pp. 9-18. ISSN 1470-9589
- Theodorakopoulos, C. and Zafiropulos, V. (2005) Laser Cleaning Applications for Religious Objects European Journal of Science and Theology 1 pp. 63-76. ISSN 1842 - 8517
- Theodorakopoulos, C. and Zafiropulos, V. (2003) Uncovering of scalar oxidation within naturally aged varnish layers Journal of Cultural Heritage 4(1). pp. 216-222. ISSN 12962074
- Westergaard, M., Pouli, P., Theodorakopoulos, C., Zafiropulos, V., Bredal-Jørgensen, J. and Staal Dinesen, U. (2007) Removal of simulated dust from acrylic paints by laser irradiation at IR, Vis and UV wavelengths. In: Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks. Springer proceedings in physics, 116 . Springer, pp. 269-280. ISBN 978-3540721291
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C., de Groot, J., Bozec, L. and Horton, M. (2007) Thermoanalytical (macro to nano-scale) techniques and non-invasive spectroscopic analysis for damage assessment of parchment. In: Improved Damage Assessment of Parchment. European Commission, Brussels, pp. 73-87. ISBN 978-9279053788
- Theodorakopoulos, C., Zafiropulos, V. and Boon, J. (2007) A final report on the oxidation and condensation gradients of aged painting varnishes studied with UV pulsed laser ablation. In: Springer Proceedings in Physics. Springer, pp. 249-256. ISBN 978-3540721307
- Theodorakopoulos, C., Zafiropulos, V., Fotakis, C., Boon, J., van der Horst, J., Dickmann, K. and Knapp, D. (2005) A study on the oxidative gradient of aged traditional triterpenoid resins using ‘optimum’ photoablation parameters. In: Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks: LACONA V Proceedings, Osnabrück, Germany, Sept. 15–18, 2003. Springer Proceedings in Physics, 100 . Springer, Berlin, pp. 255-262. ISBN 978-3540229964
Conference or Workshop Item
- Galatis, P., Boyatzis, S. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2015) Removal of a synthetic soiling mixture from mastic, shellac and Laropal K80 coatings using two hydrogels., Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Challenges and Reviews, Athens 25-29 May 2015, postprint article under review
- Bakalarou, A. and Theodorakopoulos, C. (2015) Selective removal of aged varnishes from two 19th century tempera panel paintings by means of traditional and gel cleaning methods, poster, Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Challenges and Reviews, Athens 25-29 May 2015
- Odlyha, M., Jakiela, S., Slater, J., Theodorakopoulos, C., Bozec, L., Horton, M., Larsen, R., Bergsten, C., Dahlin, E., Grontoft, T., Thickett, D.and Hackney, S. (2010) Microclimates in Museums, Churches, and their impact on Heritage. In: COST Action D42 – Impact of the Indoor Environment on the Preservation of our moveable Cultural Heritage, 8-9 November 2010, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
- Odlyha, M., de Groot, J., Theodorakopoulos, C., Bozec, L. and Horton, M. (2008) Damage Assessment of archival parchment by scanning probe microscopy, spectroscopic and thermal techniques. In: CHRESP: 8th EC Conference on Sustaining Europe’s Cultural Heritage, 10-14 November 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Odlyha, M., Jakiela, S., Slater, J., Campana, R., Theodorakopoulos, C., Bergsten, C., Cavicchioli, A., de Faria, D., Niklasson, A., Svensson, J.-E., Grontoft, Terje, Dahlin, Elin and Scharff, Mikkel (2008) The monitoring of indoor museum environments and the impact of their corrosivity on complex organic materials. In: CHRESP: 8th EC Conference on Sustaining Europe’s Cultural Heritage, 10-14 November 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C., Thickett, D., Ryhl-Svendsen, M., Slater, J. and Campana, R. (2007) Dosimeters for indoor microclimate monitoring for cultural heritage. In: Museum Microclimates. Contributions to the Copenhagen conference, 19 - 23 November 2007, The National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C. and Campana, R. (2006) Damage assessment in model and historical tapestries by Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). In: 7th European conference 'SAUVEUR' safeguarded cultural heritage, May 31 June 3 2006, Prague.
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C., de Groot, J., Bozec, L., Horton, M., Wang, Q., Foster, G.M. and Campana, R. (2006) Damage assessment of parchment: thermoanalytical (macro to nanoscale) and non-invasive spectroscopic analysis. In: 7th European conference 'SAUVEUR' safeguarded cultural heritage, May 31 - June 3 2006, Prague.
- Odlyha, M., Theodorakopoulos, C., Wade, N., Campana, R., Slater, J., de Santis, F., Smith, V.A., Bullock, L., Rhyl Svendsen, M., Padfield, T., Boon, J. and Ferreira, E. (2006) Microclimate indoor monitoring for cultural heritage. In: 7th European conference 'SAUVEUR' safeguarded cultural heritage, May 31 - June 3 2006, Prague.
- Larsen, R., Poulsen, D., Juchauld, F., Jerosch, H., Odlyha, M., de Groot, J., Wang, Q., Theodorakopoulos, C., Wess, T., Hiller, J., Kennedy, C., Della Gatta, G., Badea, E., Mašić, A., Boghosian, S.and Fessas, D.(2005) Damage assessment of parchment: complexity and relations at different structural levels. In: ICOM-CC, 14th Triennial Meeting, 12-16 September 2005, The Hague.
- Theodorakopoulos, C., Boon, J. and Zafiropulos, V. (2005) Molecular study of the depth-dependent oxidation and condensation gradients of aged dammar and mastic varnish films assisted by KrF excimer laser ablation. In: ICOM-CC Proceedings of the 14th Triennial Meeting, 12-16 September 2005, The Hague.
Sponsors and Collaborators
- Tyne and Wear Museums
- NEXUS National EPSRC Facility
- Woon Brothers Foundation, Singapore
- PROPAINT: Improved Protection of paintings during exhibition, storage and transit; EC 6th FP (2007-2010) Research Fellow - University of London, Birkbeck College
- SENSORGAN: Sensor system for detection of harmful environments for pipe organs; EC 6th FP (2006-2008) Research Fellow - University of London, Birkbeck College
- IDAP: Improved Damage Assessment of Parchment; EC 5th FP (2005-2008) Research Fellow - University of London, Birkbeck College
- MODHT: Monitoring of Damage in Historic Tapestries EC 5th FP (2005-1007) Postdoctoral Research Assistant - University of London, Birkbeck College
- - MIMIC: Microclimate Indoor Monitoring In Cultural Heritage Preservation EC 4th FP Postdoctoral Research Assistant - University of London, Birkbeck College
- Consultancy and service (please contact me)
- ICON Network Working Group Member: Collaboration for the establishment of the Documentation Group in ICON (2014 – current)
- Er: YAG Laser Workshop attendance (16 June 2015) Tate Britain with Gianfranco Pocobene, chief conservator, Gardner Museum Boston USA, and Ed Teppo, laser physicist, founder and former president of Big Sky Laser Technologies, Inc.
- TEDx venue talk on the impact of modern conservation in cultural heritage, TEDx Heraklion, Beyond the Walls (28 February 2015) - https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/12558
- Keynote speaker and professional workshop on “Smart gel systems for the cleaning of painted works of art” 28 May 2014, at TEI-A, Greece. Funder: EU NSRF - http://pega.ca.teiath.gr
Vanessa Johnson: “Degradation-induced fluorescence patterns of zinc white in watercolours” Principle supervisor, Research Development Fund PGR research, estimated submission: 2018
Current Teaching Activity
- VA0740 Conservation Science, Module Tutor
- VA0742 Conservation Project, Tutor
- VA0796 Conservation Theory and Practice 1, Tutor
- VA0797 Conservation Theory and Practice 2, Tutor