Diagnosis is of the utmost importance as a basis for planning conservation reatments. Reliable, more comparable results are achieved when diagnostic studies are based on the use of standard methodologies. Not always those available in the field of material science are applicable to the specific field of cultural property, because of the specificity and constraints related to the “values” of the property to study. The paper briefly illustrates aim, structure and activity of the Italian UNI-NORMAL Commission, established in the late 1970s by the Ministry of Cultural Property and the National Research Council (CNR). The Commission originally had the task of defining standard methods for the study of the deterioration of both natural and artificial stone materials and their conservation. Only in recent years has the Commission extended its activity to metals; in the next future other materials, such as wood and textiles, are going to be considered. The list of the Documents published so far is given in Appendix.
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