In the last decades, the interest in the development of protective coatings for movable and immovable Cultural Heritage (CH) assets has decidedly increased. This has been mainly prompted by the raising consciousness on preservation requirements for cultural artefacts and monuments, which has consequently determined the development of new protective products. From acrylic resins used at the end of the last century to the up-to-date biomaterials and nanoparticles employed nowadays, the research has made a giant step forward. This article reviews the progresses, the technical challenges, and the most recent advances in protective coatings for archaeological metal, glass, and stone artefacts. It aims at offering a comprehensive and critical overview of the progressions in conservation science and displaying how research has optimized polymers in order to solve deterioration problems. Attention is given to recently developed materials, hybrid coatings, and corrosion inhibitors. This work seeks to provide a reference point for future research and to offer a wide-ranging introduction on the newly available material technologies to restorers and conservators.
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