Multidisciplinary Research for the Monitoring and Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 23 August 2024 | Viewed by 6628

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil - Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, CA, Italy
Interests: applied geophysics; non-destructive diagnostics for monuments; geophysical–petrographical characterization of stone materials
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, the available technologies and methodologies for the Monitoring and Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage are promising and the scientific community has been finalizing studies to find approaches fast with effective and easy 3D documentation. The integration of different types of complementary information can greatly improve the diagnostic process for the conservation state of Cultural Heritage. The diagnostic process of stone material decay is very complex and cannot be described by a single discipline. The prevention and rehabilitation of monumental structures can only be successful by combining different methodologies. The multidisciplinary approach, starting from historic and architectural analysis to a complete mechanical, physical, mineralogical, and petrographic characterization of stone building materials, is believed to have the greatest chance of success. Moreover, monumental structures and heritage sites are at risk from pollution, tourism, and geoenvironmental disasters such as earthquakes or climatic changes; their protection is the duty of future generations. In this framework, the volume covers several research fields, from architecture to geology, going through material diagnostics, and aims to improve knowledge and plan restoration solutions. Papers dealing with the description of new integrated technologies and strategies for the Monitoring and Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage are welcome.

Dr. Silvana Fais
Dr. Giuseppe Casula
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • cultural heritage conservation and preservation
  • damage assessment
  • materials characterization
  • non-destructive diagnostic multitechniques
  • risk evaluation
  • monitoring

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 15745 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Petrographic, Geomatic and Geophysical Approach for the Characterization of the Carbonate Rocks of the Calcari di Cagliari Formation
by Giuseppe Casula, Silvana Fais, Francesco Cuccuru, Maria Giovanna Bianchi and Paola Ligas
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050501 - 10 May 2024
Viewed by 352
Abstract
Non-invasive techniques, such as close-range photogrammetry (CRP) and 3D ultrasonic tomography complemented with optical and scanning electron microscopy and mercury porosimetry, were applied to characterize the carbonate rock samples of the Calcari di Cagliari formation. The integrated approach started with the computation of [...] Read more.
Non-invasive techniques, such as close-range photogrammetry (CRP) and 3D ultrasonic tomography complemented with optical and scanning electron microscopy and mercury porosimetry, were applied to characterize the carbonate rock samples of the Calcari di Cagliari formation. The integrated approach started with the computation of high-resolution 3D models of the carbonate samples using the CRP technique to produce 3D high-resolution models texturized both with natural colors and intensity. Starting from the 3D models from previous techniques, a 3D ultrasonic tomography on each rock sample was accurately planned and carried out in order to detect the elastic properties of such rocks and relate them to textural heterogeneity or internal defects. The results indicate that the relationship between longitudinal velocity and rock properties is complex even in the same carbonate formation. Understanding the relationship between the geomatic and geophysical responses in the investigated rock properties, such as textural characteristics and especially structure and geometry of pores, type of pores, tortuosity and cementing material, is important for many practical applications and especially in the diagnostic process of the conservation state of monumental structures. The integration of the above non-invasive techniques complemented by petrographical–petrophysical data proved to be a powerful method to associate each lithotype with a different susceptibility to degradation. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the proposed integrated use of complementary methodologies would guarantee the reproducibility of the measurements both at the laboratory and field scale for the monitoring in time of the rock condition while giving a useful contribution in making decisions on an appropriate remedial strategy. Full article
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30 pages, 10354 KiB  
Article
3D Modelling Approach to Enhance the Characterization of a Bronze Age Nuragic Site
by Stefano Cara, Paolo Valera and Carlo Matzuzzi
Minerals 2024, 14(5), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14050489 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Megalithism in Sardinia (Italy) had its highest expression during the Bronze Age with the creation of monumental complexes known as Nuraghes. These unique monuments have recently been the subject of in-depth investigations for their potential to be recognized as World Heritage Sites (by [...] Read more.
Megalithism in Sardinia (Italy) had its highest expression during the Bronze Age with the creation of monumental complexes known as Nuraghes. These unique monuments have recently been the subject of in-depth investigations for their potential to be recognized as World Heritage Sites (by UNESCO). The main purpose of our research was to make a contribution to obtain a more in-depth characterization of these monuments by testing a 3D model of a complex Nuraghe, integrated with an analysis of the geolithological context. This work first focused on the geological and typological investigation of the materials used in its construction, which was then compared with the geolithological characteristics of the region. A survey of the outcropping remains was carried out by means of Structure-from-Motion Multi-View Stereo (SfM-MVS) photogrammetry with UAV ground and aerial acquisition using APS-C photo sensors, georeferenced with an RTK-GNSS ground survey. The level of accuracy of our digital models shows the potential of the proposed method, giving accurate and geometrically consistent 3D reconstructions in terms of georeferencing error, shape and surface. The survey method allows for the virtualization of the current state of conservation of the Nuraghe, giving a solid basis to set up further (future) archaeological excavations and to contribute to knowledge on the architecture of the structures. This study also provides useful information on the nature and origin of the construction materials and proposes a hypothesis on the original dimensions of the monument, which is often a topic of debate in the world of archaeology. Full article
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19 pages, 11074 KiB  
Article
Multi-Analytical Analysis of Decorative Color Plasters from the Thracian Tomb near Alexandrovo, Bulgaria
by Georgi Avdeev, Rositsa Kukeva, Denitsa Yancheva, Valentin Mihailov, Vani Tankova, Momtchil Dimitrov, Georgi Nekhrizov, Radostina Stoyanova and Bistra Stamboliyska
Minerals 2024, 14(4), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/min14040374 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1879
Abstract
In the present contribution, we report the results from a study on the ancient technology used to create decorative color plasters in the Thracian tomb near the village of Alexandrovo, Bulgaria. A series of fragments of red, black, grey, white and brown colored [...] Read more.
In the present contribution, we report the results from a study on the ancient technology used to create decorative color plasters in the Thracian tomb near the village of Alexandrovo, Bulgaria. A series of fragments of red, black, grey, white and brown colored lime plasters from the dromos and funeral chamber were investigated by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction analysis, infrared spectroscopy, paramagnetic electron resonance spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Based on the combined analytical data, it was possible to identify the pigments, fillers and other materials in the composition of the decorative plasters in the interior, as well as to clarify the technological features related to the plaster creation. The results demonstrated that the murals were implemented on two layers in the case of white, black, grey and brown decoration—first coarse mortar, followed by a white, fine mortar, which usually was made of calcite. In the case of red decoration, a pigment was added to the fine mortar to achieve a colored surface. The pigments were identified as mostly traditional mineral pigments—calcite, kaolinite, red natural ochres (colored earth), brown colored earth and black pigment (amorphous C). The use of the fresco technique is implied by the major participation of calcite and the absence of organic binder in all of the painting layers. Full article
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13 pages, 51443 KiB  
Article
Unveiling the Secrets of an Artwork through Non-Invasive Investigations—Case Study of a 19th-Century Female Portrait
by Adrian Rauca, Luminița Ghervase, Antonia Berdie and Matei Agachi
Minerals 2023, 13(9), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13091193 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 957
Abstract
This article aims to present the results of the investigations performed on a 19th-century oil painting on canvas belonging to the Conservation and Restoration Department of the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The artwork depicting the portrait of a lady [...] Read more.
This article aims to present the results of the investigations performed on a 19th-century oil painting on canvas belonging to the Conservation and Restoration Department of the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The artwork depicting the portrait of a lady originating from an important Irish noble family (Judith Bunbury, 1785–1861) has been investigated using only non-invasive methods. The investigation protocol included digital photography in different light sources at different wavelengths, which was used to document the current condition of the painting, UV fluorescence, which highlighted the previous improper retouches and the presence of a varnish coat, Infrared reflectography, which brought to light the underdrawing made by the artist and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy, an elemental analysis technique which indicated the chemical composition of the pigments, suggesting the use of lead white, a barium white pigment, yellow and red ochre, vermilion, cobalt blue, and a manganese-based brown pigment. The results of this entirely non-invasive investigation approach helped in choosing the most appropriate conservation and restoration methodology for the artwork. Full article
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15 pages, 5350 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Rock Porosity and Infrared Cooling Rate in Non-Standard Specimens of Tuffs Used in the Hungarian Cultural Heritage
by Simone Mineo, Luigi Germinario, Ákos Török and Giovanna Pappalardo
Minerals 2023, 13(8), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13081100 - 18 Aug 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
This paper is focused on the application of Infrared Thermography to non-standard rock specimens, in terms of size and deterioration conditions, of Hungarian tuff to monitor their cooling process and to look for a relationship between the rock Cooling Rate Index and the [...] Read more.
This paper is focused on the application of Infrared Thermography to non-standard rock specimens, in terms of size and deterioration conditions, of Hungarian tuff to monitor their cooling process and to look for a relationship between the rock Cooling Rate Index and the porosity. Literature data agree on the potential of Infrared Thermography for the indirect estimation of rock porosity in fresh specimens through the IRTest, but this technique has never been tested on non-standard specimens. To this purpose, tests on three varieties of Hungarian tuffs were carried out. These materials were selected for their cultural importance linked to their usage as building stones and in other historical applications in Northern Hungary. Tuff specimens underwent a fixed number of salt crystallization cycles. The Cooling Rate Index (CRI) for each specimen was calculated according to the literature experience and correlated to their porosity estimated by water, helium, and mercury intrusion. The results show that the rock cooling process is related to porosity since more porous rocks are characterized by faster cooling. Positive linear trends were achieved for weathered specimens considering 20 min monitoring (CRI20), which is double the time suitable for untreated rocks. The reason should be searched in salt crystallization’s effects on the rock texture, paving the way to further studies on this pioneering branch of technological application. Full article
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13 pages, 3893 KiB  
Article
Material and Technical Analysis of La Inmaculada by Francisco Pacheco
by Anabelle Kriznar, Javier Moreno-Soto, Antonio Gamero-Osuna, Agustín Martín-de-Soto, Francisco José Ager and Miguel Ángel Respaldiza
Minerals 2023, 13(4), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13040541 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644) was one of the most important Spanish painters, the author of the famous treatise Art of Painting, and a founder of Seville art school. His painting La Inmaculada (1610) forms part of the important art collection in the Archbishop’s Palace [...] Read more.
Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644) was one of the most important Spanish painters, the author of the famous treatise Art of Painting, and a founder of Seville art school. His painting La Inmaculada (1610) forms part of the important art collection in the Archbishop’s Palace in Seville and represents the first realization of a new iconography, established by Pacheco. Later, he carried out several paintings with the same subject which are today in different collections. As part of a larger project, La Inmaculada was recently restored and analysed. The characterization of materials and painting procedures was carried out applying noninvasive in situ analysis by ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), infrared reflectography (IRR), and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). Results revealed many retouches, probably from different periods, as well as some pentimenti in the composition. Chemical analysis indicates a preparation made of Seville clay, lead white and some calcite on an animal glue layer, according to Pacheco’s own treatise, and a corresponding pigment palette for the 17th century: lead white, yellow and red earths, lead–tin yellow, vermilion, azurite, smalt, a copper-based green, umber, and bone black. Furthermore, modern pigments such as titanium and zinc whites, chrome green, and cadmium yellow were also identified as results of later interventions. Full article
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