Stone care experts from Finalit remove graffiti at the Acropolis in Athens

The stone care professionals of Finalit Hellas have done a very special job: they have been commissioned to remove all graffiti and impurities from parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Acropolis in Athens. The contracting authority was also very special: British TV station BBC tasked Finalit with professional cleaning services and graffiti removal before film activities at the historic city fortress. The TV station already knew Finalit from its reporting by numerous other successful cleaning jobs at historical buildings or monuments like the Diana memorial in the Londoner Hyde park, the St. Peter's dome in the Vatican or the Church of Our Lady in Dresden. Now the stone care experts have taken care of the environment around the Athens Acropolis for the film works.

„It is normal for us to get assigned by private persons, companies, municipalities, cities or initiatives, but an order by a TV station before film works is special", says Evangelos Iordanidis, CEO of Finalit Deutschland GmbH. The response of the clients and the numerous visitors during the execution of the graffiti removal was very positive. Within a few days, work was carried out on benches, walls, columns and structures. As a first step, the special cleaner Finalit No. 7+ Radical Graffiti and Paint Remover was used. The acidic cleaner with a pH value of 3-4 is a very strong graffiti remover, which also works well on porous materials. Furthermore it effectively removes paint residue, ink, chewing gum, felt-tip pens and paint colours. With its pasty consistency it can be applied purely. After a dwelling time of 30 minutes, the graffiti and impurities were removed without residue in the environmentally friendly low-pressure blasting process. The process works without loss of substance or discolouration - only with pressure, water, air and blasting material, without damaging the surfaces of the natural stones.

The next step was to thoroughly neutralize the areas treated with Finalit No. 7+. In addition, the basic cleaner Finalit No. 1 Intensive Cleaner is used, which neutralizes the acidic cleaner. If the surfaces are not professionally and conscientiously neutralized, the acid can continue to work actively for years and thus cause consequential damage. Strong acidic cleaners with pH value 2 must be neutralized by alkaline cleaners with a pH value of 12 (strong basic). In the last step, the neutral cleaner is rinsed thoroughly with water.

As in some places some paint residues or even shadows on the natural stones were recognizable, the experts used another special cleaner, Finalit No. 12 Stain Killer. The slightly alkaline cleaner removes stains (of unclear origin) and shades after a graffiti removal (residues) of any kind. The colour pigments are bleached out by the cleaner, so that they are no longer visible even with coarse-pored natural stone. The slightly basic cleaner (pH value 8) has another advantage: it does not have to be neutralized. Therefore, it can be used very well on single spots after neutralization.