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2023 | Buch

Digital Restoration and Virtual Reconstructions

Case Studies and Compared Experiences for Cultural Heritage


Über dieses Buch

This book provides the opportunity to explore the variety of meanings, undertones and contextual connotations that currently pertain to the expressions of "virtual (or digital) restoration" and "reconstruction".

The book focuses on the latest applications of virtual restoration and reconstruction in different areas of Cultural Heritage through the presentation and discussion of several case studies. The goal is to provide a broad perspective on the subject.

The sample presented in this book has been indeed selected and evaluated referring to different disciplinary fields such as archaeology, architecture, and conservation while encompassing a variety of cultural and chronological contexts.



Virtual Reconstructions

Interpreting and Visualizing the Past Through Virtual Archaeology: From Site to Museum Experience
This article illustrates the reconstructive hypothesis of the trefoil hall found in the roman Villa of Aiano (Tuscany, Italy) built at the beginning of the fourth century AD and characterised by monumental architecture and decorations. The core of the article focuses in detail on the research questions and issues faced during interpretation describing, step by step, all the sources and the reasonings that have led to the scientific visualization. Furthermore, a breakdown of the use of 3D modelling as a research tool to simulate and debate the proposed hypothesis, its findings, and its implications is discussed. The article ends by presenting a project for the exploitation of the reconstructive work through a museum exhibition in San Gimignano. It includes not only the musealization of archaeological finds but, above all, the presentation of a short movie narrating the evolution of the Roman villa and the trefoil hall and the display of a physical replica of the site created using rapid prototyping techniques.
Daniele Ferdani, Emanuel Demetrescu, Marco Cavalieri
“Sources of Research” for the Virtual Reconstruction of Ancient Monuments: The Case of Architectural Models
The use of architectural scale models, also known by the French word maquette or the Italian names plastico or modello, is an ancient practice, which probably began when architecture emerged from its purely practical and utilitarian phase to become a formal category of knowledge with specifically sought-after and deliberately selected characteristics, linked to the increased dimensions and the enrichment of forms [1]. The model constitutes a representation, generally on a smaller scale and made of different materials but similar in effect, of a work to be created. Models are made of various materials, in accordance with the tastes of Scholars and with need, such as wood, wax, terracotta, stucco and so on. Precisely due to the highly perishable nature of the materials with which models in antiquity were made, this type of indirect source is very rarely found in archaeological contexts. This contribution concerns a case study in which an architectural model found in an archaeological excavation was used as the main of research source for the 3D reconstruction of an ancient monument.
Massimo Limoncelli
The Virtual Reconstruction of the Cine-teatro Olympia in Catania for the Documentation and Memory of Places
The research here presented is aimed at the virtual reconstruction of the Cine-teatro Olympia in Catania, designed by architect Francesco Fichera in 1913, and has been inspired by considerations mentioned above, keeping trace of the metadata and the reconstructive assumptions during all the process. Indeed, the 3D modeling followed the cognitive phase and was based on the principles of transparency and ethical reconstruction, in order to ensure a clear distinction between original surviving parts and fully reconstructed parts (no longer existing in reality). Therefore, an in depth research has been carried out to harvest additional sources (books, relations, newspapers, historical images and catalogues). The several sources have been reordered, catalogued and compared. From this comparison have emerged several reconstructive hypotheses that have led to the formulation of reconstructive choices. Such choices have been made explicit, in the respect of the scientific transparency, in the model through visual codes.
Carmela Rizzo, Mariateresa Galizia, Cettina Santagati
From Design to Construction: Digital Reconstruction of the Convent’s Kitchen Area in the Monastery of El Escorial
It is quite common to make decisions during a building process that may have some effect on design guidelines. The proposed case study, that is the old Kitchen wing in the Monastery of El Escorial (Madrid, Spain)—built between April 1564 and May 1571-, shows the various design changes made even during construction. They can be followed in the graphic and written historical documents that are still preserved, to compare them with the built reality by means of an accurate survey. The study of this area in such an interesting World Heritage Site -inscribed in 1984- is justified for two main reasons: first, its formal, geometrical, and constructive complexity shown in the numerous and ingenious ashlar work vaults, arches, and openings; second, the interesting functional solutions displayed on the six-storey wing, from cellars to attics. Both are closely related because the constructive solutions applied gave a clear answer to the original operational needs, and particularly to natural lighting and airing requirements. Moreover, the built artifices are illustrative examples of Mannerist architecture that were fully operational over centuries. Through the digital reconstruction of this area, we aim to recover and interesting part of the Monastery’s memory.
Pilar Chías, Tomás Abad, Lucas Fernández-Trapa
De RE Virtual RES. The Virtual Reconstruction of Rocca Janula in Cassino for a Meaningful “Reading” of the Historical Stratification
The restoration project, according to the Italian ministerial guidelines, gives the photographic campaign a truly significant importance. The photos, which capture the state of things, before, during and after the restoration, have the task of transmitting correct historical information to the observer. For this reason, the ministerial indications suggest affixing the photos inside the restored site with the aim of highlighting above all those parts added to complete the architectural gaps. When this procedure is not performed and when the restoration does not meet the criteria of distinguishability and reversibility, it is necessary to carry out a reverse operation to the photographic campaign. Starting from historical documentary and iconographic sources, it is necessary to create virtual models such as to provide the observer with the correct historical information. At this point the images play a fundamental role. The aim of the work is to define different levels of virtual models based on the accuracy of the acquired historical source. Simplified and monochromatic models, for example, serve to tell what cannot be documented. These models, in fact, are abstracted from reality to the point of transferring to the observer the perception that the virtual reconstruction is hypothetical. More complex and photorealistic models, obtained with the latest digital technologies, virtualize the real object that is perceived by the observer as objective. The methodology presented, and based on different levels of digital models, was applied to the Rocca Janula di Cassino case study, with the aim of clearly and unequivocally communicating the main historical phases that characterize its current state.
Assunta Pelliccio, Marco Saccucci, Virginia Miele
Digital Heritage: Before, During and After COVID-19: The Aurelian Walls as a Case Study
The aim of this research is the study of a complex monument, such as the Aurelian Walls, and of some portions of it (gates, towers and portions of mu-ra), using digital technologies of augmented and virtual reality.
Marco Canciani
The “Amiternum Project” on Archaeological Site Valorisation
In 2020 the University of L’Aquila bought the archaeological site of Amiternum, near the city of L’Aquila, where a series of excavations have been carried out from 2012. Through the so called “Amiternum Project”, the aim of the University is to create an international archaeological school-camp, and develop research activities for an adequate conservation, protection and valorisation of the site. The paper presents the first activities of an interdisciplinary research group of L’Aquila University—composed by archaeologists, historians, heritage scholars, ICT researchers—focused on the study of methodologies and tools for site interpretation, presentation, and narration, in particular through the use of digital approaches.
Stefano Brusaporci, Alfonso Forgione, Fabio Graziosi, Fabio Franchi, Silvia Mantini, Pamela Maiezza, Alessandra Tata, Luca Vespasiano
Castellaccio of Monreale: From the Survey to the Visualisation of Virtual Reconstructions
On Monte Caputo near Monreale stands a castle, presumably built in the twelfth century. The paper presents the first results of a still in progress survey activity, carried out on the entire monument using laser scanning and photogrammetric methods. This activity was carried out as part of a scientific agreement stipulated between the University of Palermo, Department of Architecture and the Club Alpino Siciliano, owner of the Castle. The graphic restitution of the survey provided new information and unpublished images of the castle. It was then possible to formulate hypotheses on the virtual reconstruction of lost configurations. This was achievable thanks to the survey analytical reading which is intended as a tool for the critical interpretation of the monument, together with the study of historical, archival and iconographic sources. A video was made by combining animation and visualisation techniques of 3D models with drone video shootings. It narrates the monument by proposing the virtual navigation of some of the castle areas, through the construction of three-dimensional digital models allowing to ideally move in space and time. The video lets to enjoy the castle even from a distance. The use of 3D visualisation techniques allows to transmit cultural content and historical information to a wide audience in a simple and immediate language.
Vincenza Garofalo, Enrico Lepre, Cristian Antonino Mancino
Images of the Disappeared Puerta Real in Seville
During the sixteenth century, Seville experienced a great flourishing due to the monopoly of trade with the Americas. It was consequently decided to renew the architectural image of the gates of the walled city so that their appearance would be in keeping with the new era. Their design followed a report issued in 1560 by the prestigious architect Hernán Ruiz II, author of the fine Renaissance finial of the Giralda tower of the Cathedral. The Royal Gate -(Puerta Real, also named Puerta de Goles) located near the river port- was completely renovated between 1560 and 1566. It had been known as the Royal Gate since King Philip II entered Seville through it in 1570. The gate subsequently appeared in important urban images by Bambrilla (1585), Janssonius (1617), Olavide (1771), Ford (1830–1833), and in a valuable photograph by Masson (c. 1858). In 1864, the Royal Gate was demolished and just one side of the city wall hosting a commemorative stone is preserved nowadays. By collecting its historical portrayals and analysing its urban environment, this research provides a virtual reconstruction of this unique Renaissance work. To this end, the dimensions of the preserved archaeological remains had been obtained with Masson’s photograph, digitally processed, as foundation. Auxiliary geometric lines were used as references and both the Book of Architecture by Hernán Ruiz II and the treatise by Sebastiano Serlio as guidelines to define details. A photomontage of the gate in its current urban environment completes the reproduction, aiming to underline its great heritage importance.
Antonio Gámiz-Gordo, Pedro Barrero-Ortega
Digital Reconstruction for the Analysis of Conservation State: The Transmission of Historical Memory of St. George and the Dragon Tile in San Michele Basilica Facade
The case study presented describes the experimentation of 3D digital reconstruction carried out on a portion of the facade of San Michele Basilica in Pavia. The facade is characterized by numerous sandstone bas-reliefs, that have been deteriorating throughout the years, composing narrative cycles of historical kings and myths of the Lombard Kingdom. Starting from acquisitions carried out on the field and through the study of the historical conservation of the decorative tiles, researchers worked to create a digital model representing the actual state of conservation of the St. George and the Dragon tile. Such model has been compared to the one based on historical images and surveys carried out during the past century. The goal is to obtain an information system for conservation management protocols and for dissemination of this disappearing heritage. The method applied to the pilot case consists of geometric and material survey, documentation of the state of conservation and analyses with non-invasive techniques, leading to the three-dimensional reconstruction of the tile. The result allows to perceive shapes of the tile that are now illegible and understand the volumes as they should have been. The different conservation status of the tile can be appreciated on the physical object or in virtual mode, through VR system and FDM 3D printing.
Elisabetta Doria, Hangjun Fu, Francesca Picchio
Architecture and Archeology. Virtual Reconstruction of Ipi’s Tomb TT315 in Deir-el-Bahari, Theban, Egypt
This article describes data acquisition and processing operations with a 3D laser scanner for the tomb TT315 in the archaeological area site in Deir-el-Bahari, Theban (Egypt). We collected data manually, with drawings and photographs of the most relevant elements, together with a TLS (Terrestrial Laser Scanner) campaign, that has allowed us to create a high-resolution point cloud with the morphology of the outer area and galleries, rooms, and interior wells. All data was processed to obtain a 3D virtual object. This paper will be used as a template to develop the specific images required for each of the survey purposes: knowledge transfer, dissemination and the creation of the cartographic base for the whole researchers’ team. All the material allows for knowledge transfer to society through built-in 3D models. The research conditions at the archaeological site of Deir-el-Bahari forced us to create our own methodology. These conditions are linked to the site conditions: climate, limited access, bureaucracy permits; the distance between the university and the site and the site’s morphology, with galleries excavated into stone caves with structural irregularities. The object of this study is important on its own, because we know very little about funerary complexes of the Middle Kingdom. On the other hand, the process to carry out the research is allowing us to assign new uses to virtual representation and reconstruction techniques.
Ernesto Echeverria Valiente, Flavio Celis D’Amico, Fernando da Casa Martín
Diachronic 3D Reconstruction of a Roman Bridge: A Multidisciplinary Approach
The study analyses multidisciplinary approaches in the reconstruction of the different construction phases of a Roman masonry bridge, implemented through the application of archaeological stratigraphic method and 3D reconstruction. The case study, a bridge in Canosa di Puglia over the Ofanto river (Italy), is today a masonry structure with five arches of similar dimensions. However, historical sources report a three-arched monument, built in the second century CE as part of the vast imperial construction project of the Via Traiana, of which only the piers, the abutments and the foundations are left. Despite numerous restorations, the large central arch collapsed in 1751 and the bridge was rebuilt in a very different shape, losing all evidence of its Roman monumentality. By cross-referencing data collected from historical documents, on-site surveys, photogrammetric processing and metrological analysis, the research aimed to reconstruct three-dimensionally the diachronic evolution of the monument.
Germano Germanó

Digital Restoration

Multidisciplinary Approach for the Knowledge of Historical Built: Digital Tools for the Virtual Restoration
The identification of strategies to be implemented for the restoration of cultural heritage, considered in its broad meaning, results from complex knowledge path. This process involves different disciplines collecting information for the cultural heritage safeguard and identification of innovative solutions that support the professionals and administrators in the conservation actions. At the same time, the advances in digital technologies provided novel solutions capable of supporting the knowledge, conservation and valorisation processes of built heritage. Based on these assumptions, the paper deals with a solution based on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR) techniques for addressing the issues concerning the processes of cultural heritage. The digital environment is suitable for managing an operative procedure that integrates the methods traditionally used by the restoration and archaeology of buildings disciplines to converge in the virtual restoration of a historical artefact. The HBIM model of the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Fontecchio (AQ) is developed starting from the in-situ investigation of the artefact. The model integrates multidisciplinary data with the aim of planning and designing proper restoration interventions for the examined asset, making these visible within the digital model and Virtual Tour in the perspective of virtual restoration. The strength of the proposed solutions is the virtual intervention of restoration actions on the artefact replica that is not a simple reproduction of the real but a digital object that communicates with a wider audience and facilitates the design and the comparison between alternative solutions, promoting the e-conservation paradigm.
Adriana Marra, Ilaria Trizio, Francesca Savini
Virtual Restoration and Persuasive Storytelling for a Virtual Visit to Palazzo Rosso, Genoa
The take-off of 5G technology in Italy coincided with a series of initiatives aimed at demonstrating the potential and possible applications of this network in the areas of smart technologies, internet of things, smart cities and next-generation smart homes. The use of this new high-speed connection will also positively involve the enjoyment of cultural heritage, proposing to offer new and more powerful solutions, especially in the field of immersive virtual visualization. With these premises is born a project promoted by Ericsson, Fastweb, Genoa Municipality and Strada Nuova Museums (UNESCO heritage), which aims to virtualize some spaces of the Museum of Palazzo Rosso through innovative solutions, immersive, emotional and persuasive. With the virtualization of the Palazzo Rosso museum we intend to test some features of the 5G network, investigating response times, streaming capabilities and portability of audio, video and 3D resources in real time. The main outputs concerned the development of immersive stereoscopic panoramas to be visualized on VR headset and, within these, stereoscopic movies. The realization of narratives including reconstructive films, immersive navigation in the paintings and virtual restoration of the ceilings destroyed during the Second World War, are made possible by the use of 3D-based technologies and the potential of methods based on Camera Mapping. The paper describes the main techniques used and exposes the results of the case study as a guideline for possible applications in other similar contexts.
Francesco Gabellone
Methodological Practice for the Physical and Virtual Reconstruction of “Absent” Museum Goods: Hypotheses for Their Protection, Valorization and Inclusive Dissemination
The present study focuses on the adoption of a methodological approach which can bring enjoyment, in the context of an inclusive society, from “invisible” museum works. Reference is made to the invisible museum heritage, stored in basements not accessible to the public and therefore “hidden”. The specific action involves an meaningful dialogue between the University and the local museums both of whom have entered into formal institutional agreements. The collaboration is based on an interdisciplinary activity where survey, prototyping and technological processes are bound together to bring back to light the different artistic fragments, silent sometimes, but part of the museum collections. The purpose of the research is to develop an appropriate action plan for intervention to boost audience engagement implementing different multidisciplinary strategies. It is necessary then to create with the support of digital technology multi-sensory 3D models designed for a wider audience which includes both non-disabled people who can enjoy the full display (not only the fragments on view in the museum’s rooms also those off display kept in storage) and visually impaired visitors who can have an interactive tactile experience. The architectural-sculptural fragments studied in the present research are kept in the Museo Civico in Noto and belong to the main entrance and to the apse coronation found in the excavation site of the ruins of Ancient Noto annexed to thestructure of San Michele “al Castello”. Hopefully, the applied methodology can contribute to the sustainable protection of those artifacts whose storage in the museum basements often causes further damages.
Rita Valenti, Fernanda Cantone, Emanuela Paternò
Structural Investigation on 3D Reality Based Models for Cultural Heritage Conservation and Virtual Restoration
Conservation of Cultural Heritage is a key topic and structural changes and damages can affect the structural behaviour of Cultural Heritage artefacts and buildings. Considering that the application of technologies can help in preserving, conserving and restoring ancient structures, it is mandatory to find the best pipeline to produce the correct analysis that can be provided with the use of Finite Element Analysis, a well-known technique used in modelling stress behaviour of objects and structures. The necessary workflow invests and involves design experts enabled to mathematically master the potential of models that pass from interpretation to design control. Following the principles of good experimental practice, the typical workflow involves the use of CAD 3D models made by Non-Uniform Rational B-splines (NURBS) surfaces, representing the ideal shape of the object to be simulated. Conversely, when applied to 3D models of Cultural Heritage, often altered by the time passed since their original creation, the representation with a schematic CAD model may introduce an excessive level of approximation leading to wrong simulation results. The focus of this work is to present a method based on retopology, hence on quadrangular element instead of triangles. Such process aims at generating the most accurate 3D representation of a real artefact from highly accurate 3D models derived from image-based and range—based techniques, maintaining the accuracy of the high—resolution polygonal models in the solid ones to be created for FEA. A proper pipeline can help to carry out the necessary interventions and perform virtual restoration prior to the physical one.
Sara Gonizzi Barsanti

Digital Enjoyment and Virtual Musification

Roman Theatre Experience the Making of Digital Reconstruction
A strategic plan for the digital museology of Roman archeological sites in Jordan is proposing an interactive multimedia exhibition on the Roman Theatre at the former forum of Amman. The project intends to represent the lost heritage through an immersive installation to engage visitors in the experience of the Roman Theater. The Roman Theatre in Amman is the largest in Jordan. Between 1967 and 1970, the Department of Antiquities of Jordan restored the building. According to the archaeological data, the Theatre was constructed at the time of Antoninus Pius (138-161 d.C). The project aims to present the scientific study and the 3D reconstruction of the original theatre, based on rigorous analysis using representative models. The outcomes will be included in a future exhibition designing site-specific installations and user experience based on digital interaction and tactile artifacts. The paper illustrates the multidisciplinary approach associated with the use of 3D virtual reconstruction to disseminate an innovative proposal for its valorisation. Future investigations will address a workflow for an interactive digital model organized semantically as a cognitive system that shows both the constructive organization of the building and the operating technique of the front of the scene.
G. Amoruso, C. Carioni
Archaeology of the Present: Knowledge as a Strategy for Claiming the Value of Contemporary Authorial Architecture
How can contemporary authorial architecture be protected? The need to define intervention strategies aimed at this objective is the premise of the Censimento nazionale delle architetture del secondo Novecento (National Census of the Buildings of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century), undertaken by the Ministry of Culture and aimed at cataloguing the numerous buildings on the Italian territory marked by high-quality characteristics. In the wake of the experience of multimedia cataloguing of the architecture of the second half of the twentieth century scattered throughout the Umbrian territory, the contribution illustrates a research path aimed at reclaiming the value of some specific architectural works built in recent decades, today completely demolished and obliterated by memory. The memory of these works resides solely in knowledge, just as their direct accessibility lies solely in virtual reconstruction and material scale replication. Transferring the title and the cultural approach that distinguishes the iconic collection of essays by Giovanni Urbani, the contribution presents the application to the Umbrian territory of a valorisation methodology that aims at constructing an ‘archaeology of the present’. This methodology aims at embodying a cultural oxymoron capable of celebrating the history and the past, even if recent, perpetuating and reaffirming its presence in contemporaneity. The aim is to preserve long the knowledge of a segment of the architectural heritage not yet unanimously recognised as a holder of cultural value for the city, the landscape and society in general. The aim is to build an archaeological museum of the present on a national level.
Paolo Belardi, Valeria Menchetelli
Visual Journalism Applications: 3D Modeling for Cultural Heritage Sites Visualization
The purpose of digital cultural heritage dissemination requires multiple communication tactics to reach as broad an audience as possible. The relationship between high-tech and low-tech knowledge for visual communication requires an overall reflection on the role of expert knowledge to reach a wide audience. In this respect, Visual Journalism is a practical methodology for communicating cultural heritage and facilitating public access to complex content. The elaboration of this kind of visualisation, with particular reference to the use of 3D models of heritage sites, becomes an opportunity for a reflection on the role of heritage communication to achieve a broad strategy for its accessibility in a general sense.
Amedeo Ganciu, Marta Pileri, Andrea Sias, Michele Valentino
Digital Restoration and Virtual Reconstructions
herausgegeben von
Ilaria Trizio
Emanuel Demetrescu
Daniele Ferdani
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