The continuously increasing art market activity and international art transactions lead the market for stolen and fraudulent art to extreme levels. According to US officials, art crime is the third-highest grossing criminal enterprise worldwide. As a result, art forensics is a rising research field dealing with the identification of stolen or looted art and their collection and repatriation. Photographs of artwork provide, in several cases, the only way to locate stolen and looted items. However, it is quite common these items to be damaged as a result of excavation and illegal movement. Digital processing of photographs of damaged artwork is therefore of high importance in art forensics. This processing emphasizes on “object restoration” and although techniques from the field of image restoration can be applied it is of high importance to take into account the semantics of the artwork scene and especially the structure of objects appeared therein. In this paper, we assess the application of face image restoration techniques, applied on damaged faces appearing in Byzantine icons, in an attempt to identify the actual icons. Several biometric measurements and facial features along with a set of rules related to the design of Byzantine faces are utilized for this purpose. Preliminary investigation, applied on 25 icons, shows promising results.
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- On the Application of Biometric Techniques for Locating Damaged Artworks
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