Chicago-based laser cleaning company working on Notre Dame restoration

ByZach Ben-Amots via WLS logo
Friday, November 13, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

A Chicago-based conservation company is bringing its unique laser cleaning technology to assist with restoration of the gothic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

FOREST PARK (WLS) -- A Chicago-based art conservation company is bringing its unique laser cleaning technology to Paris to assist with the restoration of Notre-Dame cathedral, after a fire destroyed it in April 2019.

Bartosz Dajnowski was born into a family of art restoration experts. In a company started and run by his parents, Dajnowski has spent much of his life restoring architectural and artistic treasures around the world.

When laser cleaning technology emerged as a tool for restoration and cleaning, Dajnowski extended his family legacy and founded GC Laser Systems Inc.

"Every material absorbs light differently based on its color and based on its composition. And what we do is we calibrate the parameters of a laser light to excite one material but not another based on how it absorbs infrared," said Dajnowski, explaining the science behind his unique, circular laser technology.

Tomorrow, GC Laser Systems will run tests and begin laser cleaning work on the Notre-Dame de Paris.

"It's quite a challenging project," said Magdalena Dajnowski, Bartek's wife and CEO of their company. "It feels amazing to be able to help preserve such a beautiful monument."

Total restoration on the more-than-800-year-old cathedral is expected to take at least five years. Bartek ran tests last year to ensure that the laser cleaning could work safely with the smoke and lead residue. This year, he's excited to actually clean at the site.

"On a personal level, it can be surreal. It's Notre Dame. It's an icon of the world," Dajnowski said.